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Havering’s top officer praises joined up policing to tackle drifting and moped enabled crime

PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 October 2017

Reporter Hayley Anderson joined the police for Operation Venice, targeting moped crime in Havering, Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham. Picture: Hayley Anderson

Reporter Hayley Anderson joined the police for Operation Venice, targeting moped crime in Havering, Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham. Picture: Hayley Anderson

Hayley Anderson

Havering’s top police officer has highlighted drifting and moped enabled crime as areas where collaboration in the tri-borough unit has really helped.

Chief Superintendent Jason GwillimChief Superintendent Jason Gwillim

Ch Supt Jason Gwillim was forced to defend the East Area Command Unit, the merged police forces 
of Havering, Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham which he leads, after response times were deemed “unacceptable” by Sadiq Khan.

He told the Recorder that the most recent statistics showed improvement, and also cited the police’s response to drifting as one of the positive parts of the merger.

Officers became concerned last year about late night meet ups on an industrial estate in Ferry Lane, Rainham, to watch drivers “drift” their cars around a roundabout.

The meet-ups organised on social media and inspired by the Fast and Furious films see drivers swerve round corners by applying their handbrakes while manoeuvring tight turns at speed.

Some events are organised legally, however incidents in Ferry Lane have left trees uprooted and cars abandoned across the road.

“This was a new phenomenon for Havering,” said Ch Supt Gwillim, in an exclusive interview earlier this week.

“Essex Police put traffic calming measures in at Lakeside after having issues with drifting, and this pushed it to a different location.

“It moved to Barking and Dagenham, but fleet of foot they managed to stamp out the problem.”

Police believed the drifters then moved to Rainham.

Officers in Rainham spoke to colleagues in their neighbouring borough, and Ch Supt Gwillim was able to deploy resources with experience of the issues.

They installed CCTV and put in place a PSPO, and the commander said reported incidents had reduced.

He said this was a “really good example” of the tri-borough area working collaboratively to tackle drifting.

The police chief also mentioned the recent campaign to tackle moped enabled crime, which has been a blight on the borough’s streets.

A squad of specialist detectives based in Ilford Police Station, cover Havering, Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge.

“There have been a number of operations using officers from all three boroughs,” he said.

“We continue to confiscate mopeds which are stolen. In this case crime definitely doesn’t obey geographical boundaries.”

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