New police teams announced for transport hubs
Westfield shopping centre is one of 30 locations around London that will get a dedicated new police team, following a pilot project at three transport hubs earlier this year.
In a 12-week trial beginning in May, ‘Hub Teams’ were based at West Croydon, Wood Green, and Canning Town, patrolling major bus stations and their immediate surroundings.
During the trial, the number of robberies was cut by over a third and overall crime went down by more than 16 per cent, according to the Mayor’s office.
Hub Teams will now be rolled out at 27 further locations across London including one based at the new bus station at Westfield. It is also expected that the team will patrol nearby transport links such as Wood Lane and White City Tube stations.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said the aim was to improve public safety at transport hubs: “The most frequent complaint made to me during the election was that local people did not feel safe on the buses.
Therefore, one of my first actions as Mayor was to introduce new transport hub police teams to kick-start the work of taking back our public spaces and cutting so-called 'minor crime'."
Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy said he believed improvements were already being felt: “We are seeing pensioners using the buses again and young people behaving with more respect across the bus network."
The Hub Teams will be rolled out to the new locations from January 2009 and as well as at Westfield, will be based at Hammersmith Bus Station, Ealing Broadway and Southall Broadway on the Uxbridge Road.
An additional 440 uniformed officers are being used to establish the teams, with each one being made up of one sergeant, one police constable and seven Police Community Support Officers.
The scheme, which will be funded by Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police, will cost £11.3m, with TfL contributing the bulk at £9.2m.
14 October 2008