East of borough will see new ‘town centre teams’ on patrol, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter
Extra police officers will be deployed in Haringey’s town centres and crime “hotspots” where most offences are committed.
The east of the borough will see a doubling of officers patrolling problem areas thanks to the introduction of “town centre teams” and extra staff for safer neighbourhood teams, according to a Metropolitan Police chief.
A report presented to a meeting of Haringey’s community safety partnership on Wednesday revealed the borough had seen reductions across all key violent crime measures during the twelve months to August.
With most offences taking place in the east of the borough, council leader Peray Ahmet asked if there were any plans to focus on crime hotspots such as Tottenham Green, Tottenham Hale and Noel Park.
Chief Inspector Chris Jones, in charge of neighbourhood policing at the Met, said the announcement of “town centre teams” by the Met Police assistant commissioner Nick Ephgrave on Tuesday was a “positive”.
He added: “Haringey is a net gainer from the 650 officers that are coming into safer neighbourhoods, so what you will see across that eastern side of Haringey is a doubling of neighbourhood staff across all those wards.”
Chief Insp Jones said the teams had already been selected. He explained that the officers already had experience in Enfield and Haringey, so they understood the “context and culture of the area they police”.
Total crime in Haringey fell by 3% during the twelve months to August and 8% over the past three years, according to figures from the Met and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime. Knife crime, robbery, and knife crime with injury victims aged under 25 were all down by nearly a third during the past year, falling more sharply than across London as a whole.
Chief Insp Jones described the crime figures as “very, very good in terms of an overall picture and a trajectory, which is excellent”. He said police were also reviewing whether their specialist teams focus too much on drugs and not enough on violent offences.
Jacqueline Difolco, the council’s assistant director of early help, prevention and special educational needs and disabilities, said there was a “backlog” of cases in the criminal justice system and asked if retrospective convictions could cause the crime rate to return to pre-pandemic levels.
Sandeep Broca, the council’s community safety intelligence analysis manager, said retrospective offences were a “particular threat”. But he added that officers had modelled the impact of the easing of lockdown restrictions on crime, and the figures were “far more positive than we could have considered”.
“Certainly we have seen fewer crimes occur than we would have expected as a bounce back,” Sandeep told the panel.