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Agenda item

BCU Commander - crime and policing in Merton

To follow


The Chair welcomed the new Borough Commander, Detective Chief Superintendent, Clair Kelland, to the meeting. The Borough Commander introduced Superintendent Luke Mooney, who will have sole responsibility for Merton Borough, and provided Commission Members with an update on the Commissioner's Turnaround Plan.


Our focus will be on strengthening our neighbourhood policing.

In terms of local issues that impact our communities, there will be a renewed focus on precision policing. We now have new data and technology that will allow us to take an intelligence led approach and on a day-to-day basis identify both those high harm prolific offenders but also those offenders that commit community crimes.


Externally we will focus on how we can better listen to our communities, public protection, safeguarding and how we respond to violence against women and girls.


The Borough Commander will be setting up an Ethics board internally to look at misconduct data, including both internal and external complaints from the public, and see whether we can identify any thematic issues so that we can be proactive in responding to that behaviour of officers.


In response to supplementary questions from Commission Members, the Borough Commander expanded as below:


Merton is the fourth safest Borough in the MPS. The last three months have seen a reduction again in knife crime and this is likely due to additional resources being put in place, following robbery issues in the area, and that visible police presence has driven down crime.


There is a strengthening public protection program within the MPS and one of the Commissioner's priorities is reducing violence against women and girls.


Operation Vigilant is now going to be deployed in the southwest – this is a proactive policing operation where plain clothes officers observe perpetrators behaviour in hotspots to develop an intelligence base. The basis of it is that officers intervene before an offense takes place and that led to a 24% reduction of all offenses within those hot spot areas.


Crime figures - there has been a 5% increase in total notifiable offenses emerging in the last 12 months, although we've seen a slight dip again in the last three months, so things are very much moving in the right direction. 


The Borough Commander is keen to continue attending the Independent Advisory Group meetings.


Burglary figures have gone down with a reduction of 1.4%. There were 783 burglaries in Merton in the last year which is 1.4% less than the previous year.

SD rates for the Southwest are at about 4% so definitely a lot of work to do in that area. A bespoke burglary team has been created, with its own Inspector and Sergeant, so that we can focus on burglaries in the borough and reduce that number as well as increase our detection rate.


As part of the ethics board work, we will be developing a process to review the footage from body worn videos looking at the grounds for the search and also the quality of that interaction.


Crime Stoppers launched a campaign last autumn called Fearless which is a good method for encouraging young people to report crimes anonymously. Safer Merton have made an application for funding to continue this campaign.


We have a dedicated gang’s team within our local investigation strand and following an eight-month covert proactive operation, that team ensured some very senior gang members received custodial sentences.


The Chair thanked the Borough Commander for her attendance.


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