ZERO-TOLERANCE police in Shepherd's Bush Green have been voted London's Safer Neighbourhood Team of the year.
The no-nonsense crime fighters were honoured by Met Police chief Bernard Hogan-Howe for their phenomenal arrests record in what is a notoriously high-crime area. They fought off competition from 620 other SNTs capital-wide.
Comprising Sergeants Finbar King and Stephen Gilbert and PC Abbie Fleming, the team made an 497 arrests in a six month period to November last year and carried out nearly 1,500 stop and searches, as well as obtaining six ASBOs, issuing 109 cannabis warnings and investigating 444 crimes.
The borough's most senior officer, commander Lucy D'Orsi, praised the triumphant trio, saying: "I am delighted the hard work and professionalism continually demonstrated has been recognised with this award. It reflects the dedication and commitment the officers have to the borough and in particular their ward and local community. The fact they are judged to be the team of the year out of over 620 other wards within the Met gives an indication of their performance."
The team focuses particularly on anti-social behaviour, youth crime and drug abuse, successfully using dispersal zones to cut out yobbery and working closely with the council to close badly managed and crime-ridden shisha cafes.
They recently conducted a drugs raid that led to seven arrests and the recovery of dangerous substances.
The council says Metropolitan Police cuts have not had an impact here, vindicating its decision to pump £1.3m into bringing in extra officers, with Shepherd's Bush as a whole enjoying the presence of 17 beat police.
Councillor Greg Smith said: "This accolade means that Shepherds Bush is now the best policed town in London. It is a proven fact that beat bobbies beat crime and, despite the nationwide spending squeeze, we have found a way to improve our town centre squads by putting more PCs onto the front-line than ever before. We are giving the Met the tools to cut crime and it is clear that they are delivering the results that residents expect."
As well as cutting crime, the SNT also work to educate local people about crime prevention and have conducted several awareness initiatives in Westfield as well as bike stamping afternoons.
To read more about crime and anti-social behaviour visit www.lbhf.gov.uk/crime