Update From Wandsworth Borough Commander

"Wandsworth has seen a significant reduction in street robbery"

I’m pleased to say that Wandsworth Borough has seen a significant reduction in street robbery over the past 12 months. The reduction has been led by some excellent, intelligence-led policing towards the end of 2013, which resulted in several convictions together with crime prevention work and partnership initiatives to divert offenders away from criminal behaviour and into education or employment. However, we do still see some offending of this type and towards the end of March a pair of robbers decided to commit an offence directly outside one of the borough’s police stations. It is rare for Wandsworth officers to have such a short run to the scene of a crime and, unsurprisingly, the two people involved were swiftly apprehended.

On other occasions, officers are required to go a little further to achieve a successful outcome and often your local officers can be seen going the extra mile to keep the community safe. One such officer who came to my attention this month is PC Cynthia Appiah, who works with our partners in the Family Recovery Programme to help families who are facing severe difficulties. Cynthia recognised that a young lady referred to the programme had great potential but was struggling due to a range of difficulties in her life. Cynthia gave up a huge amount of her own time to support the young person concerned, eventually assisting her to overcome her difficulties and begin to fulfil her potential in education. I haven’t been able to include the full details of Cynthia’s work as I need to protect the privacy of the people concerned but this was an outstanding piece of work from one of our most dedicated and committed officers and I am pleased to recognise Cynthia’s efforts here.

Cynthia is not alone in her dedication to duty. Another officer coming to notice this month was PC Laura Clarke. Laura has been praised by her team inspector for her superb work ethic, she has also been involved in a particularly impressive drugs supply investigation (no details yet as the case awaits trial) and with PC Dave Richardson she chased and arrested burglars in Wandsworth during night duty. However, not satisfied with her contribution during working hours, Laura was also instrumental in the arrest of a team of car thieves in Harrow on her way home at 4am one morning.

Other local officers with noteworthy achievements this month were PCs Matt Oommen and Winston Mugarura who chased and arrested two robbers in Tooting; PCs Luke Kyriakides-Yeldham, Phil Jones and Sara Vandepeer who chased and arrested a male armed with a knife and Commander Peter Spindler who was travelling through the borough one morning and kindly assisted us by arresting a man who was trying to rob a local filling station. It’s good to have the assistance of MPS senior management patrolling the borough and I’ll be delighted to find Mr Spindler a regular beat to patrol if he can spare the time!

Finally this month, my last duty before the Easter break was to attend a retirement celebration for PC Janet Rogers, who is finally retiring after 30 years of dedicated service to London. Janet was at the forefront of our early partnership work with young offenders and spent the last few years working with Wandsworth’s Youth Offender Team (YOT). I was honoured to be invited to Janet’s retirement and to see how admired she was by her colleagues from all agencies. Just like the officers named above, Janet was absolutely committed to working to make London a safer place. The YOT Manager, Diane Emmanus, summarised Janet’s contribution very succinctly “If it needs doing, Janet just does it.”

I am very proud to work with such motivated and committed officers and staff. We continue to do all we can to make Wandsworth Borough safer. Please follow us at @MPSWandsworth for more.

Ch Supt Richard Smith
Borough Commander

July 14th 2014