New police team launched to focus on Barking Town Centre
A new police team focussed fully on addressing locally identified policing priorities in Barking Town Centre launched earlier this week.
As part of the Metropolitan Police’s Neighbourhood Policing initiative, the team is one of 19 being set up in town centres across London with a view to predominantly tackle violent crime.
The Barking team is made up of 25 officers who have been specifically selected because of their local knowledge and community engagement skills.
The team is made up of three leave lines of one Sergeant and seven Police Constables to provide sufficient cover to the town centre at core demand times.
The launch of the new team follows on from the council’s continuous work to improve residents’ perceptions of safety in the borough as well as reducing antisocial behaviour and crime in the borough.
Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety said: “I am really pleased that Barking has a new 25-strong dedicated town centre team, one of the first launched in London. We’ve been calling for a greater police presence in the town centre, alongside the work that we’re doing as a council, to reduce antisocial behaviour and crime in the town centre.
“Our residents feeling safe when they’re out and about is a top priority for us, and this increased police presence and partnership work with our enforcement teams will help significantly.”
Within the last year, the council has implemented a number of things to reduce residents’ perceptions of safety in the borough, following on from a survey where it asked women to highlight areas they didn’t feel safe in the borough, including increasing:
• enforcement patrols
• lighting in areas highlighted by residents
• CCTV cameras around the borough
The council will also be looking to launch their Safe Haven Scheme in 2022, which aims to offer residents a safe space to approach if they feel they’re in danger, threatened or harassed and they could include shops, cafes, pubs, libraries or similar establishments.
Inspector Dan Bacon will be leading the new team and he said: “I am very excited to have been selected to lead the team, I see this as an opportunity to have a real impact on reducing crime and building public confidence. We want to build relationships with local residents, businesses and shoppers working together to help create a safe and welcoming town centre in Barking.
“Based at the Barking Learning Centre, the team will be a regular visible presence around the town centre and we want people to talk to us so we can help resolve their problems and tackle anti-social and criminal behaviour, making Barking a great place to be.”