Town centre police teams planned in bid to tackle violence against women

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Town centre policing teams will be introduced starting from later this year, the Met has confirmed. - Credit: Met Police

Town centres across north and east London will see more officers on patrol as the Met Police aims to reduce violent crime.

Five hundred officers will form permanent town centre teams across London, including in areas where "women and girls often feel unsafe", the force said.

Among the places where teams will be located include Barking, Ilford, Wood Green, Camden and Euston.

Shoreditch, Wembley, Harlesden and Stratford will also have officers based there as part of the initiative.

The move comes after the force has received criticism in light of the Sarah Everard case.

Serving Met officer Wayne Couzens was sentenced to a whole life prison term last week after kidnapping and murdering Sarah in March.


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Assistant commissioner Nick Ephgrave said: “Our growth enables us to increase our presence in busy neighbourhoods and town centres and be even more focused on protecting people and solving the long-term crime and antisocial behaviour issues we know people care about most – like violent crime, and violence and harassment committed against women and girls.

“We want communities to regularly see and get to know their local officers, so that they trust and have confidence in them, knowing they are there to protect and keep them safe.”

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The town centre officers will patrol at times that have the most impact on crime and public safety, a spokesperson said, such as in the evenings.

Teams will be made up of one inspector, two sergeants and 21 police constables, though local police leaders will have the discretion to increase team sizes.

The Met said decisions on where teams will be have been led by data and intelligence on places which generate the most policing demand, areas with higher crime levels and areas where confidence in police is low.

Ass Com Ephgrave added: “Local policing is at the heart of everything we do.

"We know that we are so much more effective if we are in communities and neighbourhoods, working side-by-side with all Londoners, listening and engaging with them, tackling the issues that make them feel unsafe."

A further 150 officers will also join ward officers on the beat.

The first town centre teams will be in place later this year, with all expected to be on patrol by next spring.

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