Hammersmith & Fulham Council is increasing the number of locally-funded police officers and CCTV cameras to make the borough an even safer place to live and work.
Since last year, H&F had funded 44 police officers, who have made 760 arrests. As part of the administration’s commitment to local safety, the council will now recruit a new sergeant and a new constable, and provide funding to replace three constables with sergeants.
A six-strong Safer Schools Team will also be created to work in the borough’s secondary schools, mentoring young people and carrying out vital community outreach work.
The investment comes despite huge government cuts totalling £15.9million this year alone and pressure from government to increase council tax.
The policing boost is supported by a raft of improvements to H&F’s award-winning CCTV network. H&F cameras were instrumental to 489 arrests in 2015 that would not have happened without them.
Since 2014, the CCTV network has been increased by almost a third, and there are plans for further cameras on locations where residents have identified high levels of crime and anti-social behaviour.
“There is no higher priority for us than keeping people safe,” said Cllr Michael Cartwright, H&F Cabinet Member for Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour.
“This is why we’re investing record levels of funding where it matters most, boosting police numbers and CCTV provision to both help track down the perpetrators of crime in the borough and also prevent crimes being committed.”
H&F Council CCTV staff work hand-in-hand with police to stop crime in its tracks. Examples which saw H&F council staff commended by the Met Police in London-wide awards, include:
- Large scale drug dealing spotted in Bloemfontein Road, White City which led to eight arrests plus £24,000 cash from the proceeds of crime and class A and B drugs seized.
- A violent robber who attacked people in Shepherds Bush was tracked down on old footage by eagle-eyed CCTV staff. They were then able to send copies of his image to police experts who recognised the thug, who was later jailed for four years and 11 months.
- CCTV operators spotted a fight in Bloemfontein Road, White City and managed to get police to the scene to make arrests before it escalated, including a man armed with a gun. They continued to monitor the home of the armed man and spotted several women with equipment for growing drugs who were arrested by police.
“Investing in residents’ safety is a no brainer,” added Cllr Max Schmid H&F Cabinet Member for Finance.
“By cutting waste and being smart with money, we have managed make these key investments while also cutting council tax. This is despite government reducing our funding by 66 per cent between 2010 and 2016 and pressuring us to increase council tax.”