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BID Partners Win POP Award

post-image 13th January 2017

The Problem Oriented Partnership (POP) method of working emerged in policing in the late 1970s in the USA. The POP approach is based on the collective efforts of a number of agencies including the police, all of whom operate within local communities to resolve the systemic issues behind crime. POP involves focusing on the root causes of crime and creating specifically tailored solutions which will greatly reduce the negative impact that it has on people’s lives.

In Lambeth a multi-sector collective of the Police, the South Bank BID Patrol Team, Home Office Immigration, Lambeth Council and many local businesses have joined together to address the persistent criminality of illegal street gamblers operating on Westminster Bridge, and their work is beginning to bear fruit. Until very recently, tourists were being fleeced out of hundreds of pounds by skilled teams of conmen using the age-old three cup and ball game. An intelligence-led operation involving the aforementioned agencies has targeted the gangs operating in this location, and over the course of 12 months, hundreds of successful interventions have taken place as a result of the work by the South Bank’s POP. 100 arrests have been carried out on Westminster Bridge and Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBO’s) have been obtained against over 30 people involved.

Due to the success of this partnership, South Bank BID and the other organisations involved were submitted for an award of recognition by Police Constables Alex Judge and Simon Ho. Our collective was consequently given the Gold Award for our Problem Operated Partnership. Lambeth also won the Bronze award for a similar scheme in Clapham.

This partnership has restricted access to the area targeted by these gangs and arrested many of the people involved, however the operation of these gangs is a persistent and international affliction. Many of the POP task force involved in fighting this issue have reported seeing the same faces. The gangs in London are active in many other major European cities. This means a watchful eye must be kept on tourist and visitor hotspots in order to prevent the return of this form of crime. At the present moment, the partnership in South Bank has not seen this criminality on Westminster Bridge for several months but continued vigilance is important to prevent its return.


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