Policing Matters... an update from Sgt Alex Farmer

Hello everyone,

I hope you are well.

This has been a very busy period for the Orpington ward team. In May, officers were instrumental in the application for a warrant under the Mental Health Act. The warrant enables mental health practitioners, and the Police, to enter private residence, for the purposes of carrying out a mental health assessment. This was executed with our partners at Oxleas Mental Health Trust. Following an assessment in the home, the person was sectioned under the act, and has since been moved to supported accommodation. This person was prolific for committing acts of anti-social behaviour (ASB) within the high street. This is a good result, and one that is always preferable to taking an offender through the criminal justice system. The root cause of their offending can be better managed. It also means their welfare needs are properly addressed.

The team have issued 3 formal warnings to individuals responsible for committing acts of ASB. These warnings serve as a proportionate approach to address low level matters. It provides the individual the opportunity to see their error in judgement, understand the impact of their actions, and set about changing their behaviour. Now that these individuals have been warned, any further incidents will see the matter escalated by the local policing team. In addition to the ASB warnings, the team, in partnership with Bromley council, have issued two Anti-social Behaviour Contracts (ABC’s). ABC’s are considered more serious than warnings, and place certain conditions on individuals, such as not to enter Orpington High Street. These were achieved through extensive CCTV enquiries, and local officer knowledge. Investigations are ongoing, and the Local Policing Team are working closely with business owners, as the Business Improvement District, to identify further individuals.

Orpington 1st Executive Director Chris Travers and Super Intendent Luke Baldock

Chris Travers of Orpington 1st with Superintendent Luke Baldock

At the end of March, Superintendent Luke Baldock took up the newly created position as the Bromley borough lead on neighbourhood policing. In April, he was pleased to accept an invitation to meet with Orpington 1st Executive Director Chris Travers to discuss town centre issues. Superintendent Baldock has worked in a variety of roles in Lambeth and Croydon boroughs, as well as the Met’s Territorial support group, the City of London Police, and the Met’s Specialist Firearms Command.

The Orpington Team celebrated International Women’s Day by attending a celebration event at McDonald’s on the High Street. This was a great opportunity for women and girls to speak with their local policing team, provide valued feedback, and by working with our violence against Women coordinator, shape the way we police, in order to make our streets safer for all.

In April, the Policing team completed a joint piece of work with the London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC). This involved rolling out cyber resilience training, to businesses within the high street footprint. Training was delivered either remotely online, or through officers attending the business premises personally. I’m pleased to report that this was well received by the community, and through the training, several potential cyber weaknesses were discovered, and any threats mitigated, or removed completely.

In an effort to reduce alcohol related anti-social behaviour, your local policing team have been working closely with the council, and the police licencing team. The team have primary responsibility for monitoring licensed venues, be it bars, pubs, clubs, or restaurants. We continue to work in partnership, to encourage responsible ownership/management of licensed premises in Orpington. This includes, but is not limited to, the targeting of those individuals responsible for alcohol/drug related crime and ASB, an increased police presence at key times, and taking a problem solving approach when working with licensed venues.

In other news, two operations were carried out locally, targeting an increase in shoplifting and robbery offences. Two prolific shoplifters were caught in the act of stealing. They have subsequently both been charged and are awaiting court hearings. Our thanks go out to local businesses in the high street, for their assistance with this operation.

Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate a member of my team – Police Community Support Officer Matt Lane. Matt attended a ceremony recently to congratulate him on his long service (18 years), a large part of which, has been spent serving the communities of Orpington and St Mary’s Cray. Congratulations Matt!

As always, thank you for your continued support and stay safe.


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