Safer Neighbourhoods teams (SNTs) were introduced by the Metropolitan Police in 2004. The police and partner agencies work together with local communities to identify and tackle issues of concern such as tackling anti-social behaviour, graffiti, disorder or other quality-of-life issues.
An SNT is aligned to each ward, and has one dedicated sergeant, PC and PCSO (Police Community Support Officer). In addition, there are also a number of neighbourhood officers that work across several wards (usually across five specific wards in Croydon) and can be used to tackle issues across the local ward boundaries within their area. This change to the way local neighbourhoods officers work came about in 2013 in order to give officers more flexibility in deploying resources across local ward boundaries, without losing the focus on dealing with local issues identified by the community.
The difference between these officers and other borough police officers is that the community, not the Metropolitan Police set their priorities. In addition, SNT police officers cannot be assigned to duty elsewhere in the borough or in London except under extraordinary circumstances.
Each SNT has its own safer neighbourhood panel, made up of residents, community volunteers and local businesses. The SNT panel meets on a regular basis to agree a priority list of local community safety concerns and issues for the team to focus on. Panel members are also involved in deciding what type of action should be taken and contributing to the problem-solving approach.
How does Croydon Council contribute to safer neighbourhoods?
The police alone cannot address all community safety and crime issues. Poor street lighting, security issues on estates, some types of anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping and littering for example, are best dealt with by the council. The council and the police work closely together both at a strategic and operational levels, as part of the overall work programme for the Safer Croydon Partnership.
To contact your local ward police team, or to simply find out what they have been doing, visit the Metropolitan Police Safer Neighbourhoods website.
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