Safer streets tackles youth robbery

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as community & officers share information

The close contact our Safer Neighbourhood Teams have with our local schools will be of great benefit to the community this summer, as the sharing of information has allowed our officers to identity suspects and provide a visible deterrent to those lingering around the streets in groups.

Drug dogs on the streets of Wandsworth
In the run up to the end of the school year Wandsworth police met with the council, local schools, youth offending groups, youth support groups and Victim Support to discuss methods of tackling youth on youth robbery and how to encourage victims to report their allegations to the police.

The MPS launched Safer Streets in May with a major focus on youth on youth robbery and Wandsworth have tackled this trend by deploying its officers to the robbery hotspots of transport locations and schools, and joined forces with our neighbouring boroughs and the Traffic Tasking Unit to combat moped enable crime in south west London.

The concentration on areas of crime along with strong community policing by our safer neighbourhood teams has seen a 40% reduction in robbery across the borough compared to this time last year.

Superintendent Clive Sutton said:

“The communication between our intelligence units, response officers and safer neighbourhood teams is a vital ingredient in reducing crime and bringing offenders to court. Our schools and SNT officers utilise their links with the schools to make pupils aware of the potential trouble they face if they break the law.”

PC Keeley Webb is on the Furzedown Safer Neighbourhood Team and over the past 15 months she has spent a lot of time working with the staff of Graveney School in Tooting to identify criminal suspects on robberies, thefts and criminal damage to the surrounding area.

This close working relationship paid dividends when PC Webb assisted Transport for London in identifying a suspect responsible for criminal damage to a number of buses and in tracing a robbery suspect who was also arrested for possession of a taser gun (a prohibited weapon).

PC Webb said: “We started tackling the problem by patrolling the school when the pupils left for the day and tackled any youths in the area acting suspiciously. I spend time with the pupils who know they can speak to me in confidence to report a crime or for crime prevention advice.”

Chelsea’s Football in the Community team, Positive Futures and Battersea Early Intervention Team (BEIT), launched a new initiative yesterday (Wednesday, July 19th), which aims to reduce crime and promote well-being in the community.

Eighty young people aged between 11-18 from the Battersea area met at Sir James Barrie School to take part in a football coaching session, as part of Chelsea’s FITC 'Estates Football Coaching Programme'.

Staff from BEIT, which is part of the Wandsworth Youth Offending Prevention Team, joined coaches and a police officer from the Wandsworth Council Youth Offending Team, to run a one-hour 'Weapons Awareness workshop' aimed at stopping young people from using weapons.

The interactive workshop uses discussion groups, case studies and a DVD presentation to inform young people about the dangerous consequences of carrying weapons - for themselves, the victims and the community generally.

The programme is part of a larger project of preventative work in Wandsworth to reduce the number of young people involved in crime. Future sessions in this series will focus on drugs, sexual health, dangerous dogs, car crime and anti-social behaviour.

August 1, 2006