On the case


Inspector Chris Russell, who oversees neighbourhood policing for Wanstead Village, Wanstead Park and surrounding wards, explains how the Baroness Casey Review is improving local policing

A warm hello from your new neighbourhood policing inspector for north Redbridge. I recently joined the team in January and am based at Barkingside police station, where I oversee neighbourhood policing for Wanstead Village, Wanstead Park and 10 other surrounding wards.

I joined the Met in 2014 after a period of neighbourhood policing in South Wales, where I am originally from. I then took a leap of faith and moved to the bright lights of London. I initially worked in Barnet for six years on both neighbourhood and response policing. I then joined the Met’s counter-terrorism command, working at Heathrow and London City Airport before gaining promotion to sergeant. After that, I worked as a custody sergeant, later returning to response policing in Hammersmith and Fulham. Most recently, I’ve been working with police forces nationally on how we can improve the vetting of new officers and enhance the checks we do on serving officers to ensure our officers and staff are fit for purpose.

This takes me on to the Baroness Casey Review, which I’m sure most of you have heard of and has probably affected your opinion of us here within the Met. We invited the Baroness into our organisation and asked for a candid review of our culture and standards to identify how we can improve. The Commissioner then introduced the New Met for London plan in response to the review, which is a multifaceted approach to delivering more trust, less crime and high standards. The full report and a summarised version are available on the Met website. The key bit that will impact on the people of Wanstead is the plan to put more resources in to local policing and building the strongest neighbourhood policing ever. Work has already begun on this with the introduction of a dedicated neighbourhood superintendent for the Redbridge borough alone (compared to one for Redbridge, Barking and Dagenham and Havering previously) and three inspectors split across the north and south of Redbridge, along with Ilford town centre.

But what does this mean for you? We aim to prioritise the community’s needs in everything we do. We are listening to you and working with our partners to deliver better policing for London. Every ward will have at least two dedicated ward officers (police constables) and one police community support officer responsible for that area. It also means that, as an inspector, I cover less area and can fully focus on my wards to drive specific improvements. I’m more available to you, the community, and will have a better oversight on what is going on. I specifically requested this role and look forward to making Redbridge, and specifically Wanstead, a safer place to live, work and spend time in for us all.

For more information and to contact local police teams, email:

Wanstead Village SNT: sntji-wanstead-village@met.police.uk

Wanstead Park SNT: sntji-wanstead-park@met.police.uk

South Woodford SNT: sntji-south-woodford@met.police.uk

Churchfields SNT: sntji-churchfields@met.police.uk

Author: Editor