Met Excellence Award For Tooting Town Centre Safer Neighbourhoods Team

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan presents the Tooting team with its gong

Above: The Tooting team with Sadiq Khan (left) and Commissioner Cressida Dick (right)

The seventh annual Met Excellence Awards took place earlier this month and resulted in a win for the Tooting Town Centre Safer Neighbourhoods Team.

The awards ceremony was hosted by LBC radio’s Nick Ferrari, and brought together more than 350 officers, staff, volunteers and their family and friends, as well as partners and sponsors to celebrate oustanding professionalism and dedication right across the Metropolitan Police Service.

For the first time in the awards’ history, Londoners were given the opportunity to cast their vote in two categories including Safer Neighbourhoods Team of the Year and Special Constable of the Year.

Thousands of Londoners took part in the public vote with Tooting Town Centre Safer Neighbourhoods Team and Special Police Sergeant Shane Clarke of Barnet being chosen as the worthy winners.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, presented the Tooting Town Centre Safer Neighbourhoods Team with their award.

The team was nominated for its efforts in tackling anti-social behaviour, drugs and knife crime and its work to resolve community tensions during the Muslim festival of Ashura.

Those present were told how Tooting has been experiencing a drug and anti-social behaviour problem, which escalated into gang and youth violence. The Safer Neighbourhoods Team identified eight gang members from a rap video posted on YouTube and they were prosecuted for 33 offences, including drug supply and possession of weapons.

To target drugs and knife crime, the team executed more than 50 warrants and carried out numerous weapons sweeps, which recovered more than 100 knives and weapons, and more than £150,000 worth of drugs.

When community tensions and disorder arose following the local mosque’s ban on the practice of self-flagellation during the Muslim festival of Ashura, the Tooting team arranged visits to the mosque. During these visits, they addressed the thousands of worshippers who come to Tooting each year to participate, explained the ban and the mosque’s desire to increase family attendance. They also identified those intending to break the ban and supported the mosque in getting more than 30 injunctions against them. As a result of the team’s actions, attendance increased by 30 per cent, no-one broke the ban and the team received a Community PEACE award.

Speaking at the awards ceremony Sadiq Khan said, “There's no question that it's been a difficult time for London since we last met for the Excellence in Policing Awards. Yet in responding to some of the most terrible events, from terrorist attacks to the horrific fire at Grenfell Tower, we have seen the heroism and bravery of our police and other emergency services time and time again.

“On behalf of all Londoners, today is an opportunity to say thank you for the tireless efforts, professionalism and dedication of the women and men of the Metropolitan Police Service. We are immensely proud and grateful.”

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick added, "I thoroughly enjoyed my first Met Excellence Awards as Commissioner. It was wonderful to see so many officers, staff, volunteers and community members at the event and to hear their stories. The awards provide a great opportunity to showcase some of the extraordinary effort that goes into protecting Londoners and making our city safer for everyone.

"Thank you to all the men and women of the Met who give so much for London every single day."

The Met Excellence Awards recognises a host of dedicated police work across 13 separate categories including Police Officer of the Year, Investigation of the Year and Victim Care.

2018 overall winners were:

- Bravery Award: PC Keith Palmer

- Outstanding Contribution: Tobias Ellwood MP

- Police Staff of the Year: Claire Summers - National Digital Exploitation Service (NDES), SO15

- Police Officer of the Year: PC Philip Stone - Disaster Victim Identification Coordinator, SC&O

- Support Team of the Year: Human Resources Major Incident Support Team – People & Change, Met HQ Operations Support Team - Property Services, Met HQ

- Operational / Specialist Team of the Year: Operation Viper Team – Trident and Area Crime Command (SCO8)

- Investigation of the Year: DC Hannah Stewart - East Region Child Abuse Investigation Team, Territorial Policing

- Safer Neighbourhoods Team of the Year (public vote): Tooting Safer Neighbourhoods Team

- Special Constable of the Year (public vote): Shane Clarke - Met Special Constabulary (MSC), Barnet borough

- Volunteer of the Year: Jenny Haughian - Paddington and West End Central, Westminster Borough

- Cadet of the Year: Nabil Laasid - Kensington & Chelsea Borough

March 15, 2018