East Area Borough Commander Stephen Clayman spoke to the Havering Daily on Friday about the challenges policing has faced with Covid restrictions and how assaults on police officers has increased.
Today we begin the Tier two regulations across London including Havering, meaning the work load for our police has once again doubled.
Policing across all of London this year has been a balance of ongoing crime solving, hand in hand with Covid restriction engaging and where needed enforcing. Despite the public’s concerns that they would not be able to manage both due to policing cuts that has had huge impacts on our force, the Met has risen to the challenge and managed to achieve both and as Mr Clayman tells us ‘can we deal with both? Yes we can and we have’.
Two lock downs in one year has made its impact on our community. Policing like many other professions has had to adapt to new working methods. What many people often forget is that despite the uniform, police officers are still people and the fear of catching Covid has been real for them too.
“We have answered daily issues, policing has a role to play during a pandemic and we know we are never going to please everyone. For response officers they have no choice but to go out there everyday and keep people safe. They have ppe, but we are all human and still suffer the same anxieties everyone does. Officers don’t have a choice it is their job. People have threatened to spit on them or cough on them, there has been an increase in assaults on officers. Also officers are dealing with traumatic experiences in trying to save people’s lives and they have no choice but to just get on with it.
“We recently had a commendation ceremony where one of our officers saved the life a man who was clinically dead.”
Incidents like these happen across the Met wide with officers saving lives on a daily basis, yet there is very little mention of them in the news. Perhaps now is the time to actually notice this.
Mr Clayman also went on to say: “We are working hard on the Mayor’s action plan and around better engagement and we want to ensure people that we are working with them and want to hear people’s views. Stop and search is only a small part of the work we do on a daily basis.”
The Covid restrictions have caused nationwide issues and with Havering having the highest Covid numbers across the South East, Mr Clayman and his officers certainly had their work cut out.
“We have tried to do the three E’s- engage,explain,encourage and then if people still do not adhere, then we have to enforce. We have tried to talk to people first. We have officers out there daily in areas where there are the biggest footfalls but when it comes to unlicensed music events or house parties we have had zero tolerance.”
With the two lockdown’s keeping people indoors for weeks, many feared the increase in domestic violence and our police chief has sadly revealed that there has now been an increase in domestic violence right across the three east area borough’s Havering, Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge.
“It is the hidden crime behind close doors and we have now seen an increase in domestic violence.”
East Area has an excellent Domestic Violence Unit that deal with these very sad issues everyday.
Mr Clayman ended on a positive note informing us that knife crime in Havering has actually gone down.
Well done to all our officers who save lives everyday and their work goes unnoticed.