Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs)

Frequently asked questions

You may have heard about Safer Neighbourhood Policing in the press and on the news but what does it actually mean?

What is Safer Neighbourhoods?

A local policing style: local people working with local police and partners to identify and tackle issues of concern in their neighbourhood.

How many officers are in each team?

A minimum of six uniformed officers - that is one sergeant, two constables and three police community support officers (PCSOs).

Are the teams based at police stations?

Sometimes teams are based at local police stations. Others work from kiosks, partnership offices, schools, hospitals or places of worship.

How does Safer Neighbourhoods work?

Each team is dedicated solely to the needs of one specific neighbourhood or Ward. The team, with the community and partner agencies, tackles locally identified issues - such as quality-of-life problems like graffiti, abandoned cars, noisy neighbours, drunks and vandalism.

How can you guarantee these officers won't be taken away to deal with other duties?

The Metropolitan Police has tried to develop community policing before, but competing demands meant officers were often used in other areas of London to help manage larger scale events like football matches or demonstrations.

Safer Neighbourhoods Teams (SNTs) are different - because they are protected by abstraction, radio and deployment policies - that is, the Metropolitan Police has specific guidelines about where officers can and can't be used. This means that except for the most catastrophic or terrorist-related event, Safer Neighbourhoods officers will stay where the public needs them most - right on their own doorsteps.

The Safer Neighbourhoods programme is provided in addition to London 's other policing teams and specialist units.

Why do we need this programme?

Despite recorded crime falling in the UK and burglary at its lowest for decades in London , research shows that a third of people believe crime has risen 'a lot'.

By helping to make people feel safer in their community, SNTs will provide reassurance to help bridge this gap.

How is the initiative being funded?

Safer Neighbourhoods is largely being funded by the Mayor of London. However in 2004/05, the Home Office gave the Metropolitan Police a grant to assist in the recruitment of additional Police Community Support Officers to support the programme.

It is hoped the Mayor will continue to invest in the Metropolitan Police each year, with the backing of the Metropolitan Police Authority, to ensure the roll out of the programme across the whole of London.  

What are we doing to assist SNTs?

As part of the Council's commitment to improve communication between the public and all our partners, and as part of the Neighbourhood Watch Strategy, we have developed a guide to Neighbourhood Watch for SNTs. The guide is full of all the necessary information about how the scheme works in Wandsworth, how individual watches get started, what happens at the launch meeting, what SNTs can expect from Neighbourhood Watch and what it should expect from them, as well as useful links and contacts for the Police.

Contact your Safer Neighbourhood Team