Council funded police officers make over 200 arrests in their first year.

A team of council-funded police officers have arrested over 200 people and seized over £1.8M of stolen vehicles during their first year in action.

Named the Havering Joint Task Force, the team are intelligence-led and tasked to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour hotspots. Funding for the team will continue in this year’s budget.

In its first year, the Task Force has arrested 49 suspects for residential burglary, 26 for possession of weapons, firearms or bladed articles, 34 for drug supply/possession, 7 for robberyand 98 for other offences. 73 per cent were charged with an offence following arrest, and 14 per cent are currently on police bail or released under investigation.

During that same time, 89 stolen vehicles across Havering have been recovered by the team, and intelligence has been gathered to help identify offenders for arrest and conviction.

Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said:

“We know that public safety is one of the most important issues for our residents. This is why we made sure that this year’s Council Budget included funding for this team to give the borough’s police force extra support in making Havering safer. These results clearly show this was an excellent investment in clamping down on crime in the borough.

“From stopping burglaries to catching car thieves, this investment has paid off for Havering and they are making a real difference in the local community.

“We will continue to work closely with the Metropolitan and Essex Police to help make our borough an even safer place to live.”

The Havering Joint Task Force has also been instrumental in planning and executing Operation Gambler – a cross border initiative with Metropolitan Police and Essex Police, targeting high harm offenders such as gang members, robbers, burglars and drug dealers.

Throughout 2020, 25 of these operations took place, with 423 suspects arrested as the result of proactive, intelligence-led policing.

The officers work closely with Havering Council’s new enforcement and safety team, ensuring that there is a consistent presence on the streets and helping the Council in its commitment to making the borough safer.

Rob McElroy, Neighbourhood Police Inspector, Havering Police, said: “The Council-funded Havering Joint Taskforce hit the ground running last year and have gone from strength to strength in the last 12 months.

“The officers concentrate on the things that cause residents the most concern like burglary, robbery and motor vehicle crimes. They also target those that would seek to do the most harm to residents.

“Their work has provided some fantastic results that have undoubtedly made Havering a much safer place to live, work and visit

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