A message from Chief Superintendent Sally Benatar

Published: Monday, June 22, 2020

The South West Borough Commander for the Metropolitan Police has written the following message to the public. 

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It has been a challenging weekend across London and whilst Saturday’s protests in central London concluded with no major issues, and only one arrest, we are aware that there have been issues locally in South West London. These have included unlicensed music events and groups of people gathering in parks and open spaces, which, in some cases, has led to crime and anti-social behaviour.

I would like to reassure residents that we have listened to the concerns you’ve raised through social media and your local councillors, and we are working to address these issues. Since the coronavirus lockdown started, we have had a flexible policing plan in place to anticipate and respond to calls for the police. This is reviewed each week as the lockdown circumstances change. Today (Sunday) we have secured additional policing resources for South West London and we are working on a policing plan for the week ahead and the weekend, when the weather is expected to get hotter. We are doing this planning in partnership with the four councils for Kingston, Merton, Richmond and Wandsworth, involving community safety and licensing officers as well as our local Neighbourhood Policing Teams.

Please do continue to report crime or anti-social behaviour to us. Please don’t presume that somebody else has reported it to police already, and please don’t report it on our local social media channels as these pages are not monitored 24/7. So that we are aware and can respond at the time, we need you to report it through these channels:

  • Calling 101 (non – emergency)
  • Report on the Met website here: https://www.met.police.uk/ro/report/asb/asb-b/report-antisocial-behaviour/
  • Or Direct Message @MetCC on Twitter.

Of course, if there is an emergency, or a crime is taking place, call 999. Thank you.

I understand you may be feeling concerned following the tragic incident last night in Reading. What a shocking end to a summer’s day that has changed the lives not just of those who lost their lives, their families and those who were injured, but will have left so many who witnessed it traumatised. My thoughts are with all those caught up in it, including our colleagues from the emergency services in Reading.

As you would expect, we have reviewed our policing presence here in London. I would like to reassure you that we will continue to police proportionately to keep people safe, supported by a strong specialist capability to respond quickly if required.

Our officers go out on patrol day and night to protect every member of public in South West London. There is still a pandemic on and we are trying our hardest to get our approach right to keep you safe. Thank you for your support at this time.