Newham police bag gold and silver awards for “groundbreaking” work

Newham Council officers, police and staff from Thames Reach

Newham Council officers, police and staff from Thames Reach - Credit: MPS

Council workers and the borough’s police force have won gold and silver prizes for cracking down on unlicensed landlords and reducing rough-sleeper numbers.

Commander Mak Chishty hosted the ceremony at New Scotland Yard to recognise and promote the “excellent work” in London’s boroughs.

Newham won gold in the safer communities category for its work combating anti-social behaviour and criminality in the private rent housing sector, with a focus on overcrowding and unlicensed landlords

Borough commander Tony Nash said: “Our innovative work in tackling the private rent housing sector issues has ensured that unscrupulous landlords’ actions and their disregard for their tenants’ safety and wellbeing will not continue.

“Its success is a testament to the strength of the Newham Partnership and we welcome our peers from other parts of the UK hoping to replicate this work. This work has been groundbreaking and is, in my opinion, truly worthy of recognition.”

The borough was also awarded silver during Tuesday’s ceremony for a project to address the high number of rough-sleeper encampments set up since 2012.

Operation Alabama reduced rough-sleeping numbers in the hotspot of Stratford town centre by 98 per cent.

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Operations superintendent Ian Larnder said: “Operation Alabama’s success resulted in 300 rough sleepers being assessed, provided with health care and referred to supported accommodation, clearly demonstrating how effective joint working practices can be and proving our partners absolute commitment to partnership work, making Newham a safer place for all its communities.”

Councillor Unmesh Desai, cabinet member for crime and anti-social behaviour, said: “I’m glad that the hard work of our staff and partners has been recognised at these prestigious awards. Newham Council has a great relationship with our local police which has seen us previously win these awards for our joint work on gangs and anti-social behaviour.

“The council funds a team of police officers to work directly with our ground breaking enforcement teams. The presence of these officers have been instrumental in securing our private rented sector licensing team access to properties so that we can get a true picture of how these properties are being used. And our rough sleepers project is a shining example of how we work with organisations to help the most vulnerable in society to try to find a way out of their situation, while also providing a reassuring presence for our residents.”