A squad of 12 new council funded police officers has hit the streets of Brent. Sergeant Tim Vollrath, who heads up the Safer Brent Partnership, tells us more about the new MetPatrol Plus taskforce.
My team and I are on the ground and working hard to tackle the problems we know are important to residents in the borough,” Sergeant Vollrath said.
“Our focus is on areas where we know that anti-social behaviour and serious criminality are rife. This means we’re going to be tailoring our activities to the problems we have specifically in Brent, rather than the London-wide priorities of the Metropolitan Police.”
The new task force of twelve police officers for Brent, made available through the MetPatrol Plus scheme which is half-funded by Brent Council, will focus on issues that matter most to local people.
“Child sexual exploitation, brothels, crack houses, gang activity and drugs trafficking are all areas we’re prioritising,” Sergeant Vollrath said.
“The most important part of this is working together and engaging with the community to address these problems. We want to know and be known by the community and want residents to have trust and confidence in our team, whoever they are and wherever they live.”
“Our main aim here is to work with our partners, including Brent Council and Brent’s Safer Neighbourhood Teams, to create a borough that residents feel safe and protected in.
Cllr Tom Miller, Brent Council’s Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, said: “This is an important step in our efforts to deliver our safer Brent programme for local residents. The introduction of these 12 new officers onto our borough’s streets sends a clear message; violent crime and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated here in Brent.”
Tackling street drinking and anti-social behaviour
Anti-social behaviour and nuisance street drinking is being tackled head on with the introduction of Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) in six of the worst-offending areas in the borough. Harlesden, Neasden, Kilburn, Ealing Road, Wembley Park and Sudbury will have PSPOs in place for six months – a breach of which is a criminal offence carrying a fine of up to £1,000.
Improving our focus
Plans to make Brent safer have been given the go-ahead with a radical overhaul of Brent’s CCTV network set to come in from April 2018. The wireless and flexible CCTV system will allow cameras to be relocated to crime hotspot areas where necessary, strengthening efforts to make the borough a safer place for residents and visitors. Earlier this year, Brent was one of the small number of boroughs in London to be recognised by the Home Office’s Surveillance Camera Commissioner for its work on CCTV.