Welcome to our Partnership Profile interview series, where we deep dive into the minds of local figures, business leaders and stakeholders who shape our community. Uncover the insights, experiences and innovative ideas that drive success and progress in Knightsbridge. Join us as we engage in enlightening conversations with the individuals who are at the forefront of our local landscape, shedding light on their unique journeys and the valuable lessons they’ve learned along the way.
For this edition, we sat down with the new Superintendent for Kensington and Chelsea, Owen Renowden, to discuss his career, the importance of collaborative working and local police priorities.
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your career.
I have been a police officer within the Metropolitan Police for 17 years, and throughout this time I have predominantly worked within frontline policing. Highlights have included spending a number of years within the Specialist Firearms Command and also leading emergency response teams in various parts of London. I am a passionate believer in the power of local, community based policing to bring people together and make London as safe as possible for everyone. Kensington and Chelsea is an area of critical importance to London, globally significant with many key areas that are at the heart of the city. It is an absolute privilege to be responsible for the delivery of policing in the Borough.
What are the benefits of partnership working?
Partnership working is essential to successfully delivering policing within London. Many local challenges are community-based and influenced by a range of different factors. Some of these are best solved alongside partners, supported by local officers who can share their skills and knowledge. We work within close partnerships across London that include statutory public sector agencies, locally funded initiatives and third sector organisations. We share information, skills and resources to support new approaches and solve problems as a collective. The neighbourhood policing teams are driven, professional officers who are focusing on what matters most to their communities, working to reduce local crime and build strong, trusted partnerships to fix local problems.
What are the key strengths of working collaboratively with Knightsbridge Partnership?
The strengths of working with the Knightsbridge Partnership are that we can share information to better inform our patrols and work together to deter, detect and disrupt criminality in the area. We very much rely on community support and the business network is a key part of our local information provision. We find that offenders are rarely just known to us as the police, and often local businesses are aware of those repeatedly targeting their venues. It really is a team effort and alongside our other partners we are working hard to make the Borough a hostile place for those intent on committing crime and anti-social behaviour. We share many of the same objectives, including making the Borough a safe, welcoming place for all those who live here, work here or visit us.
Please list a few of your local policing priorities.
The Metropolitan Police are focused on three critical areas – more trust, less crime and high standards. This is a key part of the New Met for London with precise, community-focused policing a priority. On a local level there is a real focus on neighbourhood crimes, which can have a lasting impact on victims and can make our communities feel unsafe. Our key areas of focus (in no particular order) are: robbery, theft from the person, residential burglary, motor vehicle crime and anti-social behaviour. Alongside this will sit other, wider priorities that will include protecting the vulnerable, hate crime, violence in all forms and sexual offences. Our Business Improvement Districts are critical in these areas, helping to design out the opportunities for crime and using their collective resources to make the area as safe as possible.
How does neighbourhood policing work? Can you explain your role from a local perspective?
Neighbourhood policing is at the heart of the Metropolitan Police Service. Our teams consist of uniform Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers who work within their local wards to fight crime and problem solve. Neighbourhood officers are specialist teams that use a range of tactics and knowledge to support local communities, address concerns and target offenders in order to reduce crime. They work closely alongside partners to respond to local feedback and listen to
community voices. My role is to lead Neighbourhood Policing within Kensington and Chelsea, with numerous responsibilities that include strengthening strategic relationships with partners, overseeing our response to crime within the Borough and having overall responsibility for developing an effective, tailored neighbourhood response in all forms.
What is the value in reporting crimes to the police?
The reporting of crime and anti-social behaviour is absolutely critical for building our intelligence and information across the Borough. We are acutely aware of the cumulative effects of crime and anti-social behavior within our communities and closely monitor emerging trends and hot-spot areas. In order to do this effectively we need to have community-reported information so we can conduct accurate assessments. We are becoming increasingly data-led in how we police to ensure we have the right assets in the right areas and that we are effective in reducing crime. There are now numerous ways to report incidents to us, including through our website. We have increased our number of call-handlers and are using technology to improve our response to calls we receive.
How can businesses support the police?
Businesses can support us by considering three key areas. Firstly reviewing their own premises to ensure they are in the best possible condition to deter criminality. Secondly ensure staff are aware of their responsibilities and expectations, with a key focus being on personal safety. Thirdly use the opportunities of being part of a wider collective to jointly problem solve in conjunction with their local policing teams. We are fortunate to have many of the same objectives and greater collaboration will result in mutual benefits for everyone.
Are you running any initiatives to support businesses?
Our local policing teams already conduct patrols in conjunction with the local “My Local Bobby” staff in order to share information and maximise the effectiveness of their work. The local Ward teams meet regularly with business partners, reviewing community intelligence and collaborating in the production of joint action plans with the Council and the Knightsbridge Partnership. This has resulted in the issuing of community protection notices and community behavior orders to help prevent reoffending. In terms of London-wide support we have a Safer Business Team who lead on strategic work with businesses to reduce the fear and impact of crime, prevent offending and improve collaboration. Business partners are provided with crime prevention advice and opportunities for staff engagement and education.