Sergeant Pinder Chana of the Walpole Safer Neighborhood Team and Patrick Chapman, of Walpole Residents’ Association discuss local policing priorities in the wake of concerns about drug-dealing anti-social behaviour in West Ealing
Many people are unsure how our Safer Neighbourhoods Teams (SNTs) fit in with the other police teams – and who to contact for assistance or support.
The SNT are working closely with the Council and local community to tackle problems in Walpole. Ealing Police take drug dealing as a serious issue and we would encourage members of the public who witness any drug related activity to call on 0300 123 1212 and ask to be put through to the SNT – or to call 999 if there is a need for an emergency response. Alternatively if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime stoppers on 0800 555 111.
Each SNT comprises Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and are dedicated to making their neighbourhood a safer place to live in, work in and visit.
The SNTs listen and talk to local residents and businesses to find out what affects their daily life and security. The SNT’s policing priorities are set by the local community and they work with the community, Council and other agencies to find lasting solutions. The SNTs provide local proactive policing; the rapid response teams cover the whole Borough and provide emergency ‘999’ policing.
Local knowledge is the key to proactive policing; this is the foundation of the SNTs.
Our local Walpole team – Sgt Chana, PCs Walling and Miah, and PCSOs Wilson, Aldous and Ezzatt – know the areas that are affected by crime – and they often know the likely criminals.
The job of the SNT is about helping people to help themselves and avoid being the victims of crime. For example, our local team regularly meet the students at Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College, offering them help and advice.
They are also working with the local ‘soup kitchens’ to educate their users about anti-social behaviour; they also advise residents and businesses about how to avoid burglaries, and are continually on the lookout for potential car crime – mostly smash and grabs. Much of this work goes on at weekends or at night, rarely witnessed by the majority of us. In addition to this work, the SNT undertake special operations to help catch criminals, in particular car criminals, shop lifters, drug dealers and groups intent on disturbing our lives.
Given the present economic situation, the SNT priorities are now focused on drug dealing, anti-social behaviour and burglary prevention, both residential and commercial. These priorities are set quarterly by our local Safer Neighbourhood Panel. This is the quarterly meeting at which our SNT meet with the three ward councillors and representatives of local communities to review local crime issues and set priorities for the next quarter. This is an open meeting held at Perceval House on the 3rd floor starting from 7pm, further information about the venue can be found from reception. The next dates are 1st September and 1st December.
We have received reports from the community regarding drug dealing and steps have been taken to reduce this within the constraints of the SNT brief, remembering that emergencies are handled by the Borough Rapid Response teams which are centrally organised. We also anticipate a rise in unruly behaviour – typical of the summer months when groups get together outside and drink too much; regretfully there is a narrow line between unruly and anti-social behaviour. We are therefore very pleased that Walpole has been recently given extra resources to combat drug dealing and anti-social behaviour.
This article first appeared on Ealing Today on 8 June.