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Agenda item

Police Update

Sgt Andy Ball


Sergeant Andy Ball from Mitcham Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) provided an update on local policing issues.


There has been an ongoing issue with dogs where owners are unable to control their dogs and they present a danger to others. The team has issues warrants and seized four dogs. The team initially writes to owners but if the problems is not resolved they may go to court and seek seizure. The police deal with situations where there are criminal offences whereas lost dogs and other issues are dealt with by Merton Council.


Working with Merton Council they have closed two brothels and a third is being considered. Drug warrants have also been served and the SNT will look at any intelligence provided by residents.


Youth engagement work has been a priority, including a PSCO in Pollards Hill using football training sessions to engage young people. The team also involved a groups of cadets in clearing a resident’s garden after they had been targeted by rogue traders.


There has been a problem group of Travellers responsible for a considerable amount of fly-tipping. The team has been working to seize vehicles by working with Merton Council. A vehicle was seized at an encampment in September and a £700 fine had to be paid before it was released. A resident asked if these actions could be better publicised and Sgt Bull they do this on social media but can’t guarantee press coverage.


Other residents asked about gangs in the area. Sgt Ball said there generally small groups of known young people involved in activity and most incidents are problems between those groups. The increased use of large knifes has been a recent trend and has increased the fear of these groups. Merton remains one of London’s safest boroughs and although Mitcham has more issues that other parts of Merton it is still much lower that other parts of the capital. SNTs are involved in visiting schools and youth centres to discourage involvement in gangs but most of the policing is done by specialist teams. SNTs also support colleagues in pursuing warrants against individuals to disrupt the gangs.


Asked about cycling on pavements and citizen’s arrests Sgt Ball explained there are Any Person Arrest powers but they do not recommend residents putting themselves in that position. It would be better to call contact the police. Cycling on the pavement would not be a high priority unless serious danger is posed. If serious incidents are happening regularly in the same place, then contact the teams and they can look into taking actions.


The future of Mitcham Police Station was also discussed. Sgt Ball said that the station is currently open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday whilst Wimbledon Station is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The plan is to move the services from Wimbledon to Mitcham but there is no timetable for this and still lots of debate about the changes. Reporting crime out of hours can be done by 999 in an emergency, 101 or online if not urgent or by email to the SNT.