The Met Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe & the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan have agreed to introduce a second Dedicated Ward Officer (DWO) in every London ward by the end of 2017.
In addition from Monday 12th September a new dedicated Tower Hamlets ASB team starts work. The following are what the new Tower Hamlets Borough Commander Sue Williams has said she would do, her policies and priorities are in this presentation here;
The wards that are being enhanced in the first phase (by the end of 2016) with one extra permanent dedicated Ward officer positions include:
• Canary Wharf
• Blackwall and Cubitt Town
• Island Gardens
The following wards already have two dedicated ward officer positions:
During 2017 we intend to increase to two (from one each) the number of Dedicated Ward Officer positions of the remaining three wards:
• St Katherine’s and Wapping
This means the Isle of Dogs & Blackwall will have 1 Sergeant, 6 dedicated Police officers and some PCSO's for roughly 40,000 people (plus in theory one Tower Hamlets Council Enforcement Officer per ward), this is not a real increase but the main difference being that as the officers are dedicated they cannot be so easily diverted to other tasks
Unfortunately when Tower Hamlets Council cut their contribution to the police budget by £270,000 a year from this year that resulted in the loss of two full time sergeants leaving Sgt Graeme Servantes in charge of the three Isle of Dogs wards plus Sgt Natalie Avanessians-Bozorg in charge of Limehouse and Poplar.
The next local Police ward panel meeting for Canary Wharf, Island Gardens & Blackwall & Cubitt Town wards is 6pm on Thursday 6th October, location tbc.
The following is from Chief Inspector Martin Kirby of Tower Hamlets Police
"Dedicated Ward Officers are key to driving the confidence of Londoners. As ring-fenced resources, they will be more visible to our communities; patrolling locally and building relationships with the public, partners and businesses. They are a valuable resource to the communities they serve and assist in bringing together agencies to effectively work together to solve local issues. We are confident that this change will improve out policing in communities. These changes will be supported by investment in other key areas of policing. This includes improving how the public access our services, with the re-design of our website, commitment to monitor social media and providing our staff with tablet computers and body-worn cameras to drive efficiencies in the way we work.
We are working closely with the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) to shape these future plans.
We need your support
It is our aim to engage with you throughout this process and work together to implement these important changes. You will begin to see changes in the near future as we begin our local selection processes in September 2016. This is with a view to posting officers in October.
If you have any questions during this process your local point of contact is Chief Inspector Martin Kirby. We value your input and welcome any feedback you may have regarding these changes."