New West End Company has launched a new initiative combining police, security and outreach workers to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in London’s West End. For the first time in the UK, all the relevant agencies have partnered to spearhead a collaborative approach to addressing issues in London’s retail heartland.
This collective, which is a first in the UK, comprises Metropolitan Police officers, Westminster Council city inspectors, homeless charity outreach workers and the New West End Company private security team, who will work together exclusively in London’s West End & Mayfair including Bond, Oxford and Regent Street, to combat crime.
The partnership will help tackle issues such as begging, rough sleeping and busking as well as criminal activities and other anti-social behaviour. Combining resources and intelligence for the first time, this new approach will provide an increased visible presence on the streets and act as a deterrent to criminals.
With the upcoming Christmas period, where hundreds of thousands of people visit the West End to do their Christmas shopping, this sharing of information and resources will not only make the action against crime more effective, but will reassure shoppers with a large security presence patrolling the streets.
Another priority with the cold winter months approaching is the estimated 8,000 people sleeping on the streets in the capital. This initiative will make it simpler for cases to be reported in the West End and will help the homeless not only find a bed to sleep overnight but also seek other services and long-term help.
Dee Corsi, Chief Operating Officer, New West End Company, said:
“For the first time ever, public services, private sector and charities have come together to provide a tailored, innovative service for London’s number one shopping and leisure destination. With the busy festive period approaching, ensuring the safety and comfort of the hundreds of thousands of Christmas shoppers in the West End is a top priority for New West End Company. That’s why we have driven this new collaborative approach which we hope will set the blueprint to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in London’s West End and throughout the capital.”
Chief Inspector Andy Brittain, Metropolitan Police, who is in charge of Partnerships for Westminster, said:
“Working closely with stakeholders to identify and to address problems is the best way to keep people from harm. The Met is proud to be part of the West End partnership: we are fully committed to this new approach to make places safe and provide support to those who need our help in this iconic area of our world class city.”
The multi-agency team will trial this approach for 6 months across 74 streets in London’s West End & Mayfair including Bond, Oxford and Regent Street.