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Sutton’s new Stay Safe Champions hit the streets!

A new team of eight council champions has hit the borough’s streets this week to help keep Sutton safe.

Their role is to reassure, advise and guide the public and businesses over the next four months, as well as report any breaches of lockdown regulations to the appropriate regulatory services.  They will also report environmental issues, such as fly tipping and damage to parks equipment.

The Council champions will be joined at the end of the month by a network of volunteers in an ambitious move to have ‘eyes and ears’ all over the borough. So they can be seen out and about, all the Champions  will wear high-vis jackets with the council logo and carry ID cards.

The Stay Safe Champions will be on the streets in the daytime seven days a week, as well as Friday/Saturday evenings, and will work in pairs. 

Part of their remit is to remind and encourage people to follow the COVID-19 public health measures, such as social distancing, wearing face coverings where required and avoiding social mixing.  The Champions will also provide advice and support to businesses on managing queueing arrangements for take-away and click and collect services.

Councillor Jayne McCoy, Deputy Leader of the Council, said:

“With regulations changing all the time, the Council wants to ensure everyone understands the current requirements. 

“Through their highly visible presence, our new Stay Safe Champions will support, advise and help our residents and businesses throughout the borough’s high streets, district centres and parks, helping everyone to feel safe as they go about their business.

”This is a new initiative the Council is taking to keep Sutton’s residents and businesses safe and supported during the lockdown and after.”

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Police Winter Nights Campaign starts.

An amplified effort to tackle violence and robbery across London in the run up to Christmas has begun today (30 November).

Led by the Violent Crime Taskforce and supported by the rest of the Metropolitan Police Service, ‘Winter Nights’ aims to stamp down on violent crime, take high harm offenders off the streets and offer help and support to those on the cusp of becoming involved in criminality. Winter Nights will see officers going into communities in efforts to build trust and confidence, prevent robbery and violence, arrest criminals and offer diversion opportunities to those who want it over the five-week period.

Teams made up of local officers, Roads and Transport Policing Command, Operation Venice, Violence Suppression Units as well as robbery teams will all take part in the operation to address the Met’s top priority of tackling violence. Use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology, weapon sweeps and anti-robbery patrols are just some of the tactics officers will use.

Robbery often increases at this time of year with darker evenings, and it remains a significant contributor to knife crime and violence across London. While Covid-19 restrictions may affect how the public go about their Christmas shopping and mark the festive period, we still expect to see increased footfall in town centres, shopping areas and socialising in the lead up to Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

In response, officers across London will be directing more resources and patrols in robbery hotspot areas and carrying out proactive operations aimed at identifying suspicious behaviour, arresting suspects and preventing robberies from happening in the first place. Safer Schools Officers will also be running hi-visibility patrols in the areas around schools at key times in the day, and engaging with pupils on crime prevention.

Commander Jane Connors, Met Lead for Tackling Violence, said, “Our number one priority is to reduce violence and we work to achieve this every single day. Winter Nights is an extension of our existing efforts to bear down on violent crime over the festive period. “The results from recent operations such as Operation Sceptre and Autumn Nights have had great results and we will build on this on the run up to Christmas as part of the Winter Nights activity.

“It will be a Christmas like no other and we want Londoners to still enjoy themselves and feel safe while preventing them from being victims of robbery and violence. The public can expect to see a policing presence across areas blighted by violence and I hope you will all feel reassured by that.

“This operation is not just about arrests and enforcement, we know that young, vulnerable individuals can be drawn into a lifestyle of criminality and violence. We are doing all we can to prevent those people from going down the wrong path by supporting those that want help and support to turn their life around. Therefore, we are prioritising opportunities for them to embark with various schemes to equip them with skills for life so they may have a more hopeful new year.” The Winter Nights campaign runs from 30 November until 3 January.

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Employee to face charges following suspected theft

Police Officers from Sutton were to called by security at a local business in relation to an employee detained by security guards for a possible theft offence.

Officers attended and conducted an initial investigation.

It was established that the suspect had stolen approx. £800 of vouchers. A search of the suspects car which was parked nearby was conducted and several wrappers, from the vouchers, were found.

The suspect was conveyed to custody and a further search of the suspects home address revealed more stolen vouchers which have been recovered.

This person needless to say has had their employment terminated and will now face charges for this string of offences.

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Arrests following robbery in Sutton High Street

Police officers were called to a robbery outside Kamils Kebab Shop , High Street, Sutton on Saturday at around 5:30pm.

Four youths, made off from the scene. Officers attended and made an extensive search area. After a foot chase two suspects have been detained and arrested.

They were described as being young black men and all around 16-20 years of age and wearing dark clothing.

One was described as very tall, around 6ft3/4, one was described as being much shorter with plaited/ corn rowed hair. They are all believed to be wearing hoodies and one may have had a khaki/ camouflage jacket on If you have any information regarding this incident we would like to hear from you please Call 101 or Tweet @MetCC quoted CAD 5397/28OCT20

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Have fun this festive season but be jolly careful not to start a fire – Brigade

Christmas is coming early to many households this year as people try and cheer up the end of 2020 – but don’t end up burning your tree down before the celebrations have even properly begun.

London Fire Brigade wants everyone to enjoy the festive season, but as people continue to work from home and are spending more time indoors than ever, firefighters have issued a few seasonal safety tips to mark Electrical Fire Safety Week.

Providing you’re following Government guidance, we are looking forward to seeing people celebrating early. After all, anything goes in 2020. But remember that Christmas decorations can burn very easily, so make sure you don’t attach them to lights or hang them too close to heaters or open fires.

If you’re digging out your decorations from the loft, check the Christmas lights are not worn or damaged and check plugs, bulbs and wires. Replace them if you see any signs of wear and check that they carry the British Safety Standard logo.

You should always switch Christmas lights off and unplug them before you go to bed.

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Finalists be announced for Sutton’s 2020 Community Awards

Sutton’s Community Awards 2020 celebrates the people who make Sutton a great place to live, work and bring up a family and who have gone above and beyond in the face of COVID-19.

There has been a fantastic response over the last two months, with over 280 entries received across eight categories,” said a spokesperson.

“Sutton’s Community Awards 2020 celebrates the people who make Sutton a great place to live, work and bring up a family and who have gone above and beyond in the face of COVID-19.

“Each year, Sutton’s Community Awards recognise remarkable individuals and groups in Sutton and despite the challenges we have all faced, there have been some amazing contributions to the community this year.

“The judging panel will meet to deliberate over the shortlisted candidates this month and finalists will be announced across December by the Council, Community Action Sutton, Volunteer Centre Sutton and Sutton Housing Partnership.

“The awards ceremony will take place virtually via the Council’s YouTube channel on Wednesday 3 February 2021. We look forward to celebrating the community’s achievements with you.”

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Police remind of Covid restrictions ahead of planned protest

Ahead of a planned protest on Saturday, 28 November, the Metropolitan Police is urgently reminding those looking to attend that protest is not currently a permitted exemption to the prohibition on gatherings under the current Coronavirus regulations.

Strict regulations have been introduced by the Government nationally to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus. This means that anyone gathering for protest risks enforcement action by officers. 

A robust policing plan is in place throughout the weekend and officers will take action if they witness breaches of the regulations. 

Chief Superintendent Stuart Bell, policing commander for this weekend, said: “The Met has a proud history of facilitating protest. However, our city is in a critical fight against Covid-19 and we cannot allow gatherings to jeopardise the progress and sacrifices our communities have made in fighting this virus. 

“That is why we will be taking action in relation to prohibited gatherings on the streets of London, including those related to protest across the capital this weekend. Our top priority is public safety and that is why we cannot allow individuals to break the law and put their health and the health of their friends, family and the wider community at risk. If you are planning on attending a gathering, I would urge you to reconsider and stay at home.”

Across the week, officers have been engaging with policing partners nationally, as well as coach companies, following information that protest organisers were looking to hire coaches and travel to London from other parts of the country. Part of this Saturday’s policing plan will involve monitoring coaches travelling into the capital. 

Chief Superintendent Bell, continued: “This type of behaviour not only breaks the law, it also risks spreading the virus between multiple areas of the country. It is for this reason that we urge people not to travel into London and this is also why we will be taking appropriate enforcement action if this happens.”

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Nearly 150,000 people in south west London get flu jab in first few weeks of vaccination drive

Nearly 150,000 adults and children visited their GP or local pharmacy for a flu jab in the first few weeks of south west London’s biggest ever drive to protect people from the virus.

Sutton – TAKE A LOOK

Figures for the first five weeks of the programme’s roll-out reveal that 95,000 people were vaccinated at GP surgeries at an average rate of 19,000 a week with a further 45,000 people vaccinated at a community pharmacist, as well as 9,500 NHS staff having the jab.

Current figures indicate that thousands more have been vaccinated than at the same time last year where 140,000 people got the flu jab in the first nine weeks of the programme – at an average weekly rate of around 15,500.

With both flu and Covid-19 circulating over winter, it is more important than ever for those most at risk to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their families.

The NHS is working hard to ensure that people can get their flu jab in a safe and convenient way – from ensuring social distancing and face coverings are worn, using hand sanitiser and operating one-way systems.

Dr Andrew Murray, Merton GP and Clinical Chair at NHS South West London Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It’s great news that 150,000 people in south west London have already had their jab, including those with long-term health conditions and small children, because with Covid-19 circulating widely, it is more important than ever for those most at risk to get vaccinated.

“It means we’re ahead of schedule with our programme and with more supplies on the way there is enough flu vaccine to go round before the flu season starts so I would urge anyone who is eligible for a free jab to continue to come forward and get booked in – it’s really important, not only to protect yourself but also your family and your friends.”

The news comes after the government announced it was significantly expanding the number of people eligible to make it the most comprehensive flu vaccination programme in UK history with around 500,000 expected to be offered a free jab in south west London.

Flu jabs for people who are eligible can be booked through GP practices or local pharmacists. They may also receive a letter or a phone call to remind them to book in for their jab, including information about where to go to get the vaccine.

For eligible people who have yet to get their jab such as at-risk under-65s and small children more stock is being delivered now and in the coming weeks. As the programme continues into the flu season, which does not normally start until December, there will be enough vaccine for everyone who is eligible.

While flu can cause mild illness in most people, some are more likely to develop potentially serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia with around 11,000 people a year on average dying as a result in England.

Earlier this month, the government confirmed that people aged 50 to 64 can get free a flu jab from their GP or pharmacy from 1 December. It means the groups now eligible for a free vaccination are:

  • Adults aged 65 and over by March 31, 2021
  • Pregnant women
  • Those with some pre-existing medical conditions, including those at-risk aged two to 64  
  • Those on the shielded patient list and members of their household
  • Children aged two–three and all school year groups up to year seven
  • Adults aged 50-64 (from 1 December)
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Test and Trace survey already has more than 80 responses – have your say now!

More than 80 responses have already been received in the first few days of Healthwatch Sutton launching a survey on Track and Trace.

Healthwatch Sutton want to hear your views, thoughts and experiences of Test and Trace. If you answer your views will be represented to a range of key groups and you could win a prize!

“We’re currently running a survey to find out people’s thoughts, views and experiences of Test and Trace. We will analyse all responses and share our findings with local and national decision makers such as the London Borough of Sutton, NHS and Healthwatch England to help make improvements to the system. The survey takes approximately 5 minutes to complete and all responses are completely anonymous. At the end of the survey, there is a chance to enter a prize draw to win £25 in M&S vouchers. The deadline for prize draw entries is Friday 11th December 2020, but the deadline for responses will be extended,” said a spokesperson.

So what do you think of Test and Trace? Take 5 minutes to share your views and experiences with Healthwatch Sutton, make a difference and be in with a chance of winning £25 M&S vouchers! Go to MY VIEW now!”

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New £75 million centre for cancer drug discovery opened on borough’s cancer hub site

The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) has opened a new state of the art Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery at Sutton’s London Cancer Hub site.

The opening of the centre marks an important step in the development of the London Cancer Hub, a global centre for cancer research and innovation delivering real benefits for cancer patients and for the local and UK economy. Sutton Council is working closely with partners, including the ICR, the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, the Greater London Authority and Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust to redevelop the whole site, ensuring they have facilities of the highest quality for their crucial work.

The new, world-leading £75m centre, which covers 7,300 square metres will house the world’s first ‘Darwinian’ drug discovery programme alongside various other promising projects centred on discovering new strategies to tackle cancer.

Sutton Council is also currently re-modelling the former temporary school on the site to create the Innovation Gateway, a new, modern incubator space that will enable start up companies and other science led enterprises to collaborate with some of the top cancer researchers in the world.  

The London Cancer Hub will help attract world-class researchers from across the globe to be part of London’s thriving life-science industry. It will be a game changer for UK cancer research – increasing the number of drugs that the ICR and its partners can discover, develop and commercialise and increasing the chances of transformative new cancer treatments reaching patients.

It will attract UK and international businesses, bringing high-value investment, skills and knowledge to Sutton generating a projected £13m in business rates and £1.2bn GVA to the UK economy annually. It will create 13,000 jobs and inspire and educate future scientists and clinicians, providing opportunities for the next generation of research leaders to pursue careers in science.