An anti-social behaviour action team which is deployed in areas affected by low level crime has been rolled out across Lambeth following a successful pilot.
The dedicated unit comprised of council funded police community support officers as well as additional Police Constables and a dedicated Police Sergeant provided by Lambeth Borough Police, was created as part of a robust package of new community safety measures by Lambeth Council and implemented in close partnership with the police. Following a successful six-month pilot in the south of the borough the team will be despatched in hotspot areas identified anywhere in the borough through Lambeth Council’s Community Safety Team.
The unit, which is made up of fourteen PCSOs, one Sergeant, and four PCs, has responded to numerous incidents since its introduction last year. The team’s first priority was to actively patrol and disrupt a long standing issue with street drinking in and around Streatham Green, which saw them draw upon additional powers from the borough-wide controlled drinking zone to successfully disperse a group of aggressive street drinkers. They have taken part in frequent patrols in the playground and communal area outside Wiseman Court, Gypsy Hill, following complaints from the local community involving young people who travel to the area to intimidate residents; investigated a number of criminal damage reports at the allotments in Rosendale Road, West Dulwich, and assisted with patrols on the A23 Streatham following a number of robberies.
They have also dealt with anti-social behaviour issues on the Woodvale Estate, Lairdale Estate, and St Luke’s Church in West Norwood; investigated complaints involving a number of aggressive street-drinkers in and around the St Leonard’s Ward, Streatham; and assisted Lambeth Council’s Trading Standards Team in test purchase operations which resulted in a number of police cautions and fixed penalty fines to shops selling tobacco and alcohol to underage customers.
Their approach has helped to bolster Lambeth Police’s new community policing initiative ‘Project Hannah’, which has seen the introduction of policing clusters designed to compliment the existing Safer Neighbourhood Police team structures. Each of the six clusters in Lambeth is led by an Inspector, and contains at least 14 constables. Together these clusters have more than 100 police constables dedicated to front line police work.
Steve Reed, Lambeth Council Leader, said: “We know safety is a top priority for residents, which is why we have protected investment in community policing despite the cuts we have been forced to make as part of reductions in central government grants. This groundbreaking new way of tackling anti-social behaviour head-on has been a tremendous success and I am delighted to see it rolled out across the entire borough. This is part of a variety of measures to combat anti-social behaviour ranging from Community Payback, gangs, and domestic violence measures that will help make Lambeth a safer place for everyone to live and work.”
Chief Superintendent, Nick Ephgrave, added: “Project Hannah and the anti-social behaviour response team offer new ways to utilise response officers and there is no doubt that this type of front line policing works. The anti-social behaviour response team has gone from strength to strength since its launch and contributed significantly to high visibility patrols, surgeries aimed to reduce anti-social behaviour, thus increasing community engagement and reassurance.”
To report incidents of anti-social behaviour contact Lambeth Council’s anti-social behaviour reporting line on 020 7926 4000.