A message from Chief Superintendent Sally Benatar

Published: Friday, May 22, 2020

In her latest message, the South West Borough Commander for the Metropolitan Police updates the public on policing during Covid

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Violence reduction activity

As you are aware, we are continuing our focus on reducing violence in the capital.  As we start looking towards a relaxation or removal of lockdown in due course, we want to maintain the reductions in violent crime.

As part of our work to reduce violence and manage offenders, we have been visiting a number of people who have been linked to violence in our communities. The purpose of these visits is to give individuals the opportunity to consider how to change their behaviour and to avoid being in situations that may be violent.  They are being offered a range of diversion opportunities tailored to their needs and we are working with Local Authority partners and the Violence Reduction Unit in MOPAC on these diversion options.

We have also been conducting additional patrols or activity in locations where violence and robberies have been concentrated during the last 12 weeks.  Activities have included weapons sweeps and community engagement.

COVID-19 Pandemic Multi-Agency Response Teams (PMART)

As you will be aware, new teams were set up to respond to sudden deaths in London.  I am writing to let you know that these have now been discontinued in their current format.  Happily, we were needing to use the Multi-Agency Response Teams less and less each day.

Local officers will once again deploy to deaths in the community. However, if there is a scenario where COVID19 is the suspected cause of death, officers will be supported by specialist teams. These teams continue to have strict criteria for deployment and each unit has received specific training and wears necessary PPE.

Eid al-Fitr

We would like to send our very best wishes to those in our community who will be looking forward to celebrating Eid al-Fitr this weekend. 

Although Eid is traditionally marked with congregational prayers in mosques and parks followed by parties amongst families and friends, Eid in the time of the Coronavirus will look different. Places of worship remained closed and with large gatherings are banned. Instead, Muslims are being encouraged to celebrate Eid in the same way as Ramadan: from home, and virtually with friends and family.

You may also be aware a Government taskforce has been convened to look at the re-opening of religious premises.  More information can be found here

Next week we look forward to holy days in the Jewish and Sikh calendars and wish these communities well in their planning. 


As you know, we have continued with our business as usual policing over recent weeks and have had fantastic support in doing so from volunteers. As an example,  on Saturday, 16 May, more than 420 special constables from a number of specialist teams took to the streets, roads and parks to support and police communities across London. They were supported by more than 150 volunteers who have signed up since the beginning of the pandemic. Twelve arrests were made throughout the day, which also included 61 weapons sweeps and 341 groups dispersed as lockdown rules were explained and people encouraged to return home.

If you, or anyone you know, is interested in becoming a Met volunteer, please visit our website: https://www.met.police.uk/car/careers/met/police-volunteer-roles/