Senior police and officers of all ranks spent the day taking awkward selfies of themselves and the community in front of well known Brixton landmarks today.
As part of the London-wide initiative, called Community Action Day, Met chiefs joined their colleagues, parking wardens and volunteers to share their pictures on social media in the city’s “gloriously diverse population.”
Lambeth police visited schools, youth groups and local skate parks and organised football matches in an attempt to show they were down with the kids or – as one spokesman said, “to strengthen our relationship with young people and direct them from less productive activities.”
The somewhat softer approach follows the disastrous Brixton Unite operation in March which saw a huge police presence around Brixton with arrests and raids, coupled with a community engagement event and free food in Windrush Square.
Today’s event proved far more social media-friendly. According to @LambethMPS on Twitter, the operation uncovered a kitchen knife hidden in Angell Town, a gun and a taser. Several arrests were made for a range of offences from robbery to public disorder.
Commander Mak Chishty, who leads on community engagement for the Met, said: “We are committed to strengthening relationships and boosting confidence with our communities, which means that we must engage with the people who live, work, travel or visit London in ways that best suit their needs and lifestyles.
“London is a capital city with a gloriously diverse population that is constantly changing. Our challenge is to keep up with the changes and to police in a way that gives our communities every confidence in the service that we provide.
“We appreciate that there are no short-term fixes to tackle crime and are committed to working with our communities and partners to identify long-term solutions. This isn’t something that the police can do alone, but together we can make a real difference.”