Taking us through the last 12 months is Steve Gilbert, one of our two local Sergeants and someone who I often go to for information on the latest incident that readers ask about having seen arrests, vehicles or something out of the ordinary.
I often think policing is a bit like IT - in the sense that if something is wrong people complain long and loudly, sometimes with good reason, but when it's going well nobody notices, and they certainly don't congratulate. Steve and his team quietly do amazing stuff by your and my standards every day, on our behalf, often at risk to themselves - so here's their report; feel free to stop them and say thanks next time you see them:
|Sgt Steve Gilbert|
"On 6th June 2011 the Safer Neighbourhood team of Shepherds Bush Green was enhanced with extra funding from the local authority. The number of officers was increased and it moved from 5 small teams to 3 much larger teams. The SNT work 365 days a year to provide security and reassurance to the residents and visitors to the ward.
The team is currently lead by Sergeant Finbar King and Sergeant Steve Gilbert. There are 18 Police Constables and 3 PCSOs.
The new style policing team has been operating for one year. During the year they have arrested 860 offenders. They have confiscated alcohol from 2444 people who were caught being anti social on the street. They oppose the licensing of premises if that may cause disruption to public or an increase in anti social behaviour.
Working with trading standards and customs they have confiscated enough alcohol and tobacco to fill a lorry. SNT officers have lead 21 raids on premises associated with criminal activity. They have seized thousands of pounds worth of drugs along with 5 firearms.
The regular daily activity is not all about arrests and drug raids. Each day officers go out on patrol, they contact and visit victims of crime, they review hundreds of hours of CCTV footage to identify offenders.
The officers communicate with and work alongside colleagues at local authority, government agencies, housing providers, health authority and other interested agencies.
Officers regularly attend professional meetings to discuss and plan to protect vulnerable people or to control persistent offenders. The SNT usually have an integral role to ensure the meeting actions are upheld.
The ward of Shepherds Bush Green stretches from the Edward Woods Estate in the East to Bloemfontein Road in the West. It is a major transport hub for buses as well as having 5 stations, Westfield Shopping Centre, QPR football stadium and BBC Television Centre. On some days of the year there are more people on the ward than the entire population of Hammersmith and Fulham Borough. On Boxing Day 2011 there was more than the Borough population under the roof of Westfield Shopping Centre.
During the disturbances of August 2011 the ward remained safe and some SNT officers were deployed to assist elsewhere in London. During the Olympics local SNT officers will be required to assist their colleagues to cover the events. It is anticipated that the Olympics will bring an increase of visitors to the ward. The remaining local officers will work hard to maintain their high standard of policing to retain the peace and keep crime low.
After the Olympics there will be a restructuring of the way London is policed, with a redeployment of officers to create a wider dispersed neighbourhood team. It is uncertain at this present time how Shepherds Bush will be affected.
As a whole the crimes affecting Shepherds Bush Green ward remain under control with the exception of a large increase in pickpockets and bag thieves. Police appeal for you all to look after your belongings when out shopping or socialising. There has recently been a deployment of signs around the green to remind you. In the meantime officers are out and about in uniform and plain clothes looking for the thieves. Utilising all areas to gather clues and evidence as to the offender’s identities. As always they need the publics help. If you see a pickpocket or thief, call the police. Try and remember what they look like and where they go. This will help the police catch them".