Changes to Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams in Barnet welcomed

Theresa Villiers, newly re-elected MP for Chipping Barnet, has welcomed changes in the way Barnet's ward based Safer Neighbourhood Police Teams (SNT) will operate. These changes follow a review set up by the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe. Theresa was briefed on the changes at a meeting of the Underhill Ward Community Action Panel (CAP) meeting on Friday evening, which took place at Barnet Police Station.

Following the meeting, Theresa said: "Effective measures to tackle crime in Barnet are a high priority for me. I have always been a strong supporter of our ward based Safer Neighbourhood Teams. I campaigned successfully for them to be established and expanded. Last time I attended the Underhill CAP meeting, concern was expressed by residents that SNT police officers were spending less time on visible policing in the local area. I am very pleased that the Met have responded to these concerns by changing the way our local SNT teams will operate."

"Underhill Ward Officer, PC Helen Fuller, explained the changes to me and the rest of the CAP Panel. The shift patterns for SNT officers will be adjusted to allow greater visibility within communities and provide more local flexibility. Dedicated Ward Officers like PC Fuller will not be taken away from their wards and sent elsewhere for other duties except at New Year and the Notting Hill Carnival. A number of the duties which SNT officers have been given in recent times, such as backfilling for other teams and guarding crime scenes, will be reduced. This will enable SNT officers to spend more time on the kind of core roles and visible local policing that these teams were set up to provide."

"Residents attending the meeting said that these changes were already having a positive impact in their neighbourhood which is something I warmly welcome. I was keen to get straight back down to work after being re-elected and I am pleased that one of my first constituency engagements of this new Parliament has involved good news on tackling crime in Barnet. PC Fuller also reported to the meeting that crime has continued to fall in Underhill ward."