WALTHAM Forest’s new chief policeman has vowed to improve performance without the need for more officers.

Chief Supt Steve Wisbey, who has been confirmed as the borough commander for the next three years, says he will not be backing a council campaign for extra police, which has been supported by over 600 residents.

The 50-year-old said: “We have 900 staff in this borough, when I am sure that we are fully productive and working at full capacity then I may look for more resources.

“I understand why the local authority has raised this issue but my job is not to argue for an extra 120 police officers but to find ways to use what we have better in the interests of the community. It is not my job to wave a flag.”

Chief Supt Wisbey has vowed so get more officers patrolling the streets, especially at times when the most crimes occur.

He has also promised to tackle reports of anti-social behaviour earlier so problems do not escalate.

“I heard of an instance where we attended the same business address 17 times in a short space of time, meaning there is 17 calls answered, 17 visits and 17 reports, whereas what we need to do is sort the problem out earlier so we are using less resources,” he said.

Chief Supt Wisbey says his priority is to tackle violence and accepts that he must make people feel safer on the streets.

He said: “In Waltham Forest I want to prioritise tackling violence, from anti-social behaviour right through to terrorism, as it affects the quality of people's lives.”

“It is important to distinguish between groups of young people standing together for safety, or because they feel there is nothing to do, and organised criminal gangs.

“Part of my job is to reduce the fear of crime, 66 per cent of people live in fear of crime but only 15 per cent will be a victim, meaning people are scared of something which will not happen to them.”

Chief Supt Wisbey says he prefers interacting with those he serves, rather than staying behind a desk. He said: “I am not an office person, I like people and I like the outdoors, I like walking the streets and talking to people.”

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s Chief Supt Wisbey worked for CID and the territorial support group, policing the News International industrial dispute at Wapping in 1987.

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