December 8 2013 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Reporter
Friday, September 27, 2013
Drug dealing, prostitution, burglary and car theft are among the crimes being targeted by police in Ilford.
Speaking at Tuesday’s area committee seven meeting at Highlands Primary School, Highlands Gardens, Ilford, Sgt Wayne McBride outlined the force’s priorities.
Following the restructure of the Metropolitan Police earlier this month, Redbridge has been divided into three “neighbourhoods” with their own teams, inspectors and priorities.
In the south area, including area seven’s Cranbrook and Valentines wards, officers are stepping up the fight against street prostitution.
Although the problem is currently concentrated around Ilford Lane in Loxford, but there were concerns enforcement could push the crime into other areas.
Sgt McBridge said: “We are considering an extension of the dispersal zone and trying, rather than targeting the girls, to target the people who use them.”
Cllr Ashok Kumar called on police to “name and shame” known kerb crawlers.
He added: “These people are damaging the borough and they should be shamed.”
Another major initiative is starting against motor vehicle theft.
Sgt McBride said: “We’ve seen a huge increase in theft from motor vehicles, particularly blue badges.
“Parking charges have gone up so there’s been a rise in taking the badges.”
Police are also targeting drug dealing around Ilford town centre, along with anti-social behaviour and residential burglary as the nights close in.
Sgt McBridge reassured councillors that the new policing structure would improve satisfaction for residents.
He said: “In boroughs where there has been a focus on response times the model has failed but when a borough commander is keen on victim care, like ours is, we have seen it thrive.”
Under the new system there are also targets for each ward that police aim to meet by a deadline, such as visiting a mobile phone shop in Ilford suspected of handling stolen goods.
Fewer officers are assigned to Safer Neighbourhoods Teams in each ward but local teams handle crimes from reporting to conviction.
More street patrols are planned and 86 more officers are arriving in Redbridge over the next three years.