Christmas Message From The Borough Commander

Paul McGregor updates residents

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T/ Borough Commander Paul McGregor

Police in Putney
Police in Wandsworth

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This is our last full week before the Christmas holiday is upon us. Of course, my officers will be on duty 24/7 across this period, keeping you safe and responding to those who may find themselves in crisis. Importantly, the fight against crime is never ending and our most prolific offenders will have cops knocking on their doors on Christmas Day, just to remind them of this fact!

Christmas and New Year is an opportunity to take time out from the hustle and bustle of life and reflect on both challenges and achievements. I hope you will indulge me if I share some of our highlights with you.

"I am confident that Wandsworth remains a very safe borough in which to live and work"

By any measure, this has been a good year for Wandsworth Police, with many challenges overcome and much to be proud of. Of course, anything we've achieved has only happened with the support of the public we serve. Sir Robert Peel, the founder of the Metropolitan Police, said, 'People are the police and the police are the people'. The need for this close relationship has never been greater and this year saw the revitalisation of our neighbourhood policing teams under the Local Policing Model.

Sadly, we said goodbye to Battersea Police Station, a building that was well past being an appropriate base for a modern police service. We have photographs of the building from the early 1900's and it had barely changed on either the outside or the inside. However, the building went out with a flourish as we, along with every other borough in the Met, hosted an open day that saw hundreds of you come and see what we do.

We have taken the fight back to the criminals at every opportunity. Our investigators have overseen some highly successful investigations resulting in long sentences for violent offenders and most recently were able to lay charges against a number of individuals for conspiring to commit 47 robberies between them. Only today I have heard of some Crown Court convictions for conspiracy offences. All the offenders have been remanded in custody for sentencing in the New Year. I will be able to provide details of the operation then. I have a team of experienced CID officers who are delivering some outstanding results in this complex and specialist area of investigation.

Our investigators who deal with some of the most vulnerable victims of domestic violence have some of the best detection rates in London and have even managed to secure convictions against abusers whose victims have been too scared to support formal complaints. Convictions without victim's support can be difficult but our success should send a strong message to violent abusers that they will not escape justice.

Our emergency response teams, the ones you may see moving quickly around the borough with blue lights and sirens, have done amazing work on the borough this year. Their time to respond to incidents is among the best in the Met and when they get to jobs, their professional skills have led to the early arrest of offenders. This is the front end of policing and arguably, the most dangerous bit of the job.

Supporting our officers, is a very small team of staff and colleagues from partner agencies. These are often the unsung heroes of what we do, the people that keep the rest of us on the road. A big thank you to them and our colleagues from the Special Constabulary who support us throughout the year.

We end the year in a very strong position. We are now showing reductions in every main crime category (MOPAC 7). There is still work to do in getting some of these reductions to a more sustainable position but the last few months, in particular, has seen us buck a number of seasonal trends: I remain confident that these downward trends are here to stay. As an example, so far in December, violence resulting in injury is down by an incredible 47%. Theft from the person was down 25% in the first week of this operation. This reflects a comprehensive policing operation in place over the weekends leading up to Christmas but also some long term, collaboration between police and licensees.

I am confident that Wandsworth remains a very safe borough in which to live and work and I give you my personal commitment that we will do everything in our power to keep it that way.

I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas and look forward to bringing you more news in 2014.

T/ Borough Commander Paul McGregor

December 23, 2013