Hundreds of additional police officers will take to the streets of London over the next six months to help make women and girls feel safer.
The Metropolitan Police has announced that an additional 650 officers will be deployed across the capital, with 500 officers permanently stationed in busy neighborhoods and 150 working as “bobbies on the beat” in London stations.
The Met said the admission of the new officers was part of an initiative to reduce violent crime, including domestic violence and violence against women and girls, following the murder of Sarah Everard by police officer Wayne Couzens. He used his police handcuffs and his arrest warrant to stage the fake arrest of the 33-year-old before he raped and murdered her.
The teams in the city center will consist of an inspector, two sergeants and 21 police officers.
First officers will be deployed by the end of 2021, and all 19 teams are expected to be stationed in districts and cities across the capital by spring 2022, from Hounslow in west London to Barking and Dagenham in east London.
Met Police Deputy Commissioner Nick Ephgrave said: “Our growth allows us to increase our presence in busy neighborhoods and city centers, and to focus even more on protecting people and solving the long-term problems of crime and antisocial behavior that we know are most important to people – such as violent crime and violence and harassment against women and girls.
“Local policing is at the center of what we do and we know we are much more effective when we are in communities and neighborhoods, working side by side with all Londoners, listening to them, getting in touch with them and addressing the issues they face make you feel insecure.
“We want the communities to see and get to know their local officials regularly so that they will trust them and trust them as they know they are there to keep them safe and secure.”
Areas with “extraordinary demands” like Westminster mean that there will be “expanded” or “additional” downtown teams. Camden and Brent counties will have two teams, while the West End will have a single but larger team.
The Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has hired an independent appraiser to look into the culture and standards of the police force. She plans to announce who will be doing the review in about a week or so, which will take at least six months.
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