Following the Launch of Safer Neighbourhoods Policing in Newham on Friday 31 March, Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham, went to see the Beckton Team which has already been in action for two years.
The Beckton Safer Neighbourhoods team, currently based at the Excel Centre, have a different approach to walking the beat - they use bikes! Sgt Darren Hepple, who heads up the team, explained to Mr Timms how the bikes allow the police to pursue criminals more effectively and also make the police officers more approachable to local people.
Safer Neighbourhoods teams are trained to communicate with a wide range of people, communities and partners, to tackle and solve community problems. Teams are dedicated to the needs of each specific neighbourhood. What's important and different about this neighbourhood policing model is the officers' work at grass roots level in addition to London's other policing teams and specialist units.
Speaking afterwards Mr Timms said; "I was very impressed by the work of Sgt Hepple and his team. They are approachable, in touch with the local area and listening to local people - and as a result they are really making a difference. Beckton is becoming a safer and more pleasant to live in."