Policing update from Sally Benatar

Published: Friday, March 27, 2020

The SW Borough Commander writes: On Tuesday, 24th March, Commissioner Cressida Dick spoke with the media about our policing position following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday.


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In her interview, the Commissioner said, “I have huge faith in the ability of my officers. The tradition of the British policing is one of talking to people, listening and understanding them but also, if necessary, to escalate and be very firm. I am sure the vast majority of people, young and old, will comply with the new guidance and my officers will deal with it if they don’t.”

We will continue to work around the clock to help keep Londoners safe. We are planning to ensure we maintain critical services as the virus continues to spread. The Met, and London is extremely resilient. Our officers are, and will continue to be out on the streets and supporting communities.

We are here to support people and to continue to perform our primary function - to protect lives and prevent crime wherever we can. Our latest updates for you on how we are policing south-west London in the current environment are below:

Our officers have been out in the South West and have reported that the majority of our residents are following the Government’s advice of staying at home, unless under certain circumstances including:
Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible and no more than once a day;
• One form of exercise a day - e.g. a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with your
• Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
• Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from
• All gatherings of more than two people in public, excluding households or work-related are banned; and all social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but excluding funerals with immediate family are also banned.

We have seen a great deal of compliance by the public and business with regard to the new Government restrictions put in place to control the spread of Coronavirus.

On the occasions where current restrictions are not being followed there has been some good engagement by officers to resolve the situation. Our role is to continue to be as visible as possible, and engage with our communities to help them understand the restrictions and adhere to them.

We are expecting the government to confirm shortly what the specific policing enforcement powers will be for those rare occasions where individuals continue to flout the restrictions.

Current legislation remains valid where we are dealing with criminality or antisocial behaviour.  Rumours of threats against NHS Staff

There continue to be rumours circulating on social media that NHS staff are being targeted for their passes. Numerous checks have been made throughout the organisation and we have been unable to find any evidence that NHS workers - or police officers for that matter – are being deliberately targeted for their staff passes, for their hand gel or targeted for any other reason. If you hear this rumour please help us dispel it and reassure others in your community that this is not happening.

If you know someone who has been a victim of robbery, or you have witnessed such an incident, then report it. If nobody reports it, then we are unable to support the victims or work to prevent the crime happening again.

Reporting online
Officers are continuing to investigate offences and crimes and carry out their daily duties to keep London safe. Anyone who wants to report a crime in London is asked to do so via the Met Police website here: https://www.met.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/ or by tweeting @MetCC. This will help free officers and call handlers to attend to those who need us the most.

Alternatively, at this time, you can still report at the front counters of Teddington, Kingston, Wimbledon, Lavender Hill and Mitcham police station. Nevertheless, the Government advice is for the public to stay at home unless for certain specified circumstances and, as such, we would prefer for people to remain in their properties and only visit a front counter if it is absolutely urgent.

Only call 999 in an emergency.

Children’s Online Safety

With schools closed, we are aware that children may have more access to digital devices than normal and maybe using internet, apps and social media to keep in contact with their friends. Please take steps to monitor their online use and inform them of the risk that the internet presents.

Advice about staying safe online is available at the following websites:

Finally, it has been uplifting to see the kind acts and thanks we continue to get from the public and our partners. We thank you for your continued support and wish you well.

Kind regards,
Sally Benatar, BCU Commander