By Hannah Neary, Local Democracy Reporter
A London council is spending £4.6 million on CCTV and anti-gang officers to stop kids joining gangs and committing crime.
Hammersmith and Fulham council is investing in the cameras and 72 new officers in a war against gang crime and violence against women and girls.
The Labour-led council’s leader Stephen Cowan told BBC Radio London the authority wants people to feel safer by cracking-down on crime.
He added: “Police numbers have been cut and we looked at young people being enslaved into gangs and we looked at what was happening to women, which has always gone on, and we wanted to find out what extra things we could do.”
A local resident told the BBC that women no longer feel safe in the borough.
The woman said there are too many cafe’s in Uxbridge Road, a main route between Acton and Ealing, that are filled with men, which makes women feel uncomfortable.
Cllr Cowan said it is a good thing that cafés are opening during difficult economic times and Uxbridge Road is a vibrant hub of places to eat but if women are being followed home then that is concerning.
He said the 72 new officers will patrol the streets with the support of a specialist gangs unit, social workers and police officers.
They will work to stop young people being recruited into gangs and also break up gang violence.
He added: “What we want to do is make Hammersmith and Fulham a no-go area for crime.
“We’ve got a long way to go on that because violent crime certainly has been increasing.
“No parent would tolerate violent crime. Our job is to crack down on it in every possible way.”
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