‘It takes a village to raise a child and it takes a village to tackle violent crime’ says tri-borough commander

Chief Superintendent Jason Gwillim said it is safe to live and work in East London despite the repor

Chief Superintendent Jason Gwillim said it is safe to live and work in East London despite the reported rise in violent crime. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

Whether it is via social media or talking to someone in real life, it is hard to escape from all the stories about violent crimes in the area.

The capital has suffered its bloodiest month in nearly a decade, but the tri-borough commander, Jason Gwillim, said the area is still a safe place to live.

“We have not seen a huge rise of violent crime in the east area, however there has been significant reporting of violent crime, which has alarmed the community,” he said.

“We are concerned about this, however, the three boroughs still remain a safe group of boroughs to live and work in.”

Mr Gwillim said the policing landscape is changing but the focus of the narrative should not be centred on their being less officers on the street, but on an increase in workload, due to “our ever-expanding remit of investigations and responsibilities”.

Deputy Commander, Supt Sean Wilson, said there needs to be a multi-agency approach to tackling crime.

“The loss of a young life is far too important to ignore,” he said.

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“We cannot arrest our way out of violent crime and gang-related violence, we must also look at the criminal justice system, partnership working with local authorities, agencies and the community on a whole when tackling this issue.

“It takes a village to raise a child and this is the approach we should be taking when it comes to preventing and reducing violent crime.”

Mr Wilson also said that prevention is a “vital tactic” in reducing this type of crime, but it will only be effective if the East Area Command’s partnership is strong with other bodies.

He also explained that officers are using intelligence to distribute more officers to hotspots.

“The East Area is more informed about where these types of crimes take place and are now focussing our tactics around this.

“We are also conducting weapon sweeps in these hotspot areas, where offenders often hide weapons whilst attempting to avoid detection through our stop and searches.

“We are working hard to close down avenues for young people to buy knives, with checks being conducted and test purchasing operations being performed.”