Wandsworth Still Inner London's Safest Borough

With all crime figures reduced except in Wandsworth Town Centre

Wandsworth has retained its position as inner London’s safest borough with current crime levels on target to reach a five year low, according to latest figures from the Metropolitan Police.

Over the past 12 months the borough has seen significant reductions in robbery, residential burglaries, gun crime and vehicle crime. There has also been a big fall in the number of complaints about anti-social behaviour, while violent crime also fell.

Overall reported crime levels were down by more than 11 per cent compared to the previous year.

Wandsworth Police Borough Commander, Paul McGregor said: "There is encouraging news concerning crime on the borough, but no room for complacency. We can only achieve these reductions with the support of the public and our partner agencies whose support I value. I am confident that I have an enthusiastic and professional team behind me and that we are making a difference for the better".

The council’s public safety spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “These are encouraging numbers that show that efforts to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour are delivering positive results.

“Violent crime is down, burglaries are down and robberies are down. Wandsworth remains the safest borough in inner London with overall crime levels on a firm downward trend and set to hit a five year low. This is welcome news for residents and businesses.

“The council works extremely closely with the Met to tackle and prevent criminal activity and bring offenders to justice. This support ranges from providing a highly effective CCTV network to paying for a special safer parks team to patrol local parks and open spaces.

“Our local police deserve huge amounts of credit for the sterling work they have done in confronting criminal behaviour. Residents can rest assured that the council will continue to play its role in supporting those efforts to keep Wandsworth inner London’s safest borough.”

The latest crime figures show that robberies were down by 15.4 per cent, compared to the previous 12 months to reach their lowest levels for five years while domestic burglaries fell by 12.6 per cent.

Gun crime saw a year-on-year fall of 35.4 per cent, while motor vehicle crime was down 16.3 per cent and racist and religious hate crime was reduced by just over 18 per cent. Violent crime fell by three per cent.

Thefts from the person, which cover handbag snatches and pickpocketing saw a 3.5 per cent reduction, while detection rates in the borough for this type of offence were nearly two and a half times higher than the Met’s London-wide average.

Detection rates for domestic violence were the second highest in London while the borough also had the highest arrest rate. This means that offenders are more likely to be detained and prosecuted in Wandsworth than almost anywhere else in the capital.

Reports of anti-social behaviour, including complaints about rowdy and inconsiderate behaviour, noise and vehicle nuisance were down by 5.9 per cent.

Most town centres also saw lower crime levels. In Clapham Junction offences were down 12 per cent, while in Balham they fell 17 per cent, in Tooting by 12 per cent and in Putney by eight per cent.

Unfortunately this downward trend was not repeated in Wandsworth town centre which saw an eight per cent increase. The council will now be working with the police to quickly identify measures to tackle this discrepancy.

Recent survey data also shows that a majority of local residents feel that the borough is safer now than it was two years ago.

A study involving nearly 1,600 Wandsworth residents found that 55 per cent felt that the borough was a safer place compared to two years ago while 42 per cent agreed that there was “less trouble generally” compared to only 18 per cent who disagreed.

The proportion of residents who said they felt safe after dark was 71 per cent while 79 per cent felt the police were doing a good job tackling crime with 69 per cent saying the same thing about the council.

January 22, 2014