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Police patrols target predatory men in Romford Town Centre

Police carried out patrols in Romford over the weekend (pic: Met Police)

One arrest and 14 men were dispersed from Romford Town Centre over the weekend following police patrols targeting predatory men.

The patrols were part of Project Vigilant being carried out by a mix of plain clothed and uniformed officers on Friday, 17 and Saturday, 18 March.

As part of the project, police work with licensed premises in busy night-time locations to identify potential predatory behaviour, prevent offences and protect women.

One man was arrested on Friday for indecent exposure following a report from security at a pub.

The 37-year-old was bailed while a full investigation takes place.

In addition, 14 men were dispersed from the town centre due to the likelihood of causing harassment, alarm and distress relating to displaying potential predatory behaviour.

The dispersals were made due to a Section 35 being in place under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

This gives an officer the power to exclude a person from an area for a period of up to 48 hours.

Police Sergeant Sarah Wolfe from the Town Centre Team said: “On Friday night we held a joint briefing between the police and staff working at licensed venues.

“We discussed how to work best together to keep the public safe and take robust action towards unacceptable behaviour. It is really important we continue to work together to keep members of the public safe.”

“At the beginning of Friday evening a joint engagement stand between the Met and Local Borough of Havering and Romford ward officers was set up to speak to members of the community at the beginning of their night out.”

Sergeant Wolfe continued: “Officers also engaged with 50 men who were encouraged to be good bystanders by reporting suspicious behaviour to the licenced venue or police.

“Over the two nights, officers spoke to 130 women and heard their specific concerns on areas or reasons where they felt unsafe so officers could take action.”

Sergeant Wolfe added: “It was great to engage with so many members of the public and remind them that we are there for their safety. We will continue to work hard to tackle predatory behaviour and keep women safe.”

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