Redbridge ‘crime down despite Covid’ according to east London police chief and council leader
- Credit: Archant
A new Street Watch, where resident volunteers, supported by the council and police, can help patrol their neighbourhood is being launched.
It was launched on Tuesday and was announced at a webinar held the same day by police and Redbridge Council to explain what they are doing to tackle crime.
Volunteers will patrol the streets in pairs and report suspicious activity and street-care issues.
They will be supported by a ward co-ordinator. They will undergo a criminal record check and training by the police’s Safer Neighbourhood Team.
At the webinar, East Area BCU commander Det Ch Supt Stephen Clayman and council leader Jas Athwal answered questions and said they’ve seen crime levels go down and want to keep it that way.
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A lot of the questions directed at the borough commander had to do with residents’ concerns of a lack of police presence in problem areas around the town centre, Ilford Lane and Loxford.
Det Ch Supt Clayman said they have been running a number of covert operations, including one in June which resulted in a number of arrests for possession with intent to supply drugs and fines for cannabis.
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He also talked about another operation last year, in and around Ilford Station, where more than 50 people were charged with supplying drugs.
He said: “We’re out there but if you don’t see us and you have the perception you’re not feeling safe, that’s a concern to me, so we need to be telling you more about what we’re doing.”
He also applauded residents who have been reporting issues around drug dealing, which he said is a major priority.
“You are the eyes and ears, when you feed us that information, we’re not ignoring it, we’re logging it and we use all that information to make arrests.
“Cannabis farms are a big driver for violence as well, and they’re often in terraced houses – people break into them, we get called and find a yield.”
Cllr Athwal also addressed the increase in domestic abuse incidents during lockdown and urged residents to report any issues they see.
He said: “We need neighbours to call it out. We’ve set up a domestic abuse helpline and a reach out service but we need your help in calling out this abuse the moment you see it.”