Five council-funded police officers hit Havering's streets
PUBLISHED: 12:12 04 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:12 04 February 2020
A new set of bobbies on the beat are now out on Havering's streets as part of a new council initiative to keep a clear police presence in the borough.
Supported by a Metropolitan Police scheme but "paid by Havering, for Havering," the Havering Task Force started in the New Year at Hornchurch Police Station and will be concerned with issues solely in the community.
They are ring-fenced from Metropolitan Police duties such as policing football matches and local events, although they may be used by the Met on high demand days for public order issues or in case of an emergency.
The council is able buy more police officers under the scheme, which is called Partnership Plus, which was introduced in February 2019.
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It means the council is able to invest £900,000 for the next three years to see new officers working alongside existing officers and other partners to tackle anti-social behaviour and target law enforcement.
The scheme allows local authorities to purchase officers at a reduced rate of £57,000 per constable, representing a discount of more than 21pc on their full cost, with the aim to alleviate the difficulties of cost and inflexibility to the Metropolitan Police, while maintaining the principle that local authorities can continue to invest in local policing.
Since starting in early January, the new officers have arrested 11 people including wanted burglars and suspected drug dealers, and seized 16 stolen vehicles.
A recent burglary operation with Metropolitan Police and Essex Police saw 13 further arrests, six stolen vehicles recovered and further intelligence gathered.
Leader of the council, Councillor Damian White, said: "Whether it is the threat of violent crime, or the concern of antisocial behaviour, we are listening to residents' concerns. Our commitment to put extra police officers on our streets, as well as our close working relationship with the Metropolitan Police, is crucial in making Havering an even safer place to live.
"These are Havering police officers, paid by Havering, for Havering. Their work, as part of our new enforcement and safety team, will allow us to prioritise and allocate resources to tackle the issues that need an immediate response and clamp down on crime in our community."