Earlier this year, nearly two years after coming to the borough, Paul Martin was appointed as the Chief Superintendent of Ealing Police, the new Borough Commander. Gracia Leo found out what he has made of the area so far.
Paul, who arrived in Ealing in May 2013, has been in the police force for 23 years and worked in many areas around London, including Hounslow, Wandsworth and Lambeth. Initially posted at Acton police station, he held a number of roles before his current appointment in February this year, and he said: “I am honoured to have taken up the position of Borough Commander.
“It’s humbling to be in a position where I feel I can make a difference in people’s life. Ealing is one of the most vibrant and progressive boroughs I have worked in. There is a drive and energy within the community and my ambition is to improve the services we offer.”
As commander, Paul is keen to improve community engagement with the police across the borough and is not complacent about what he sees as the great strides already undertaken by his officers with the support of partners like the council.
“There has been an excellent increase in the reporting of crime within the community,” he said. “But we want to maintain this by trying to provide people with an improved confidence in policing.
“Anti-social behaviour is one of the biggest issues. People see and relate to criminality they see when out and about. These are the things that stick in their minds. But we need to engage with them and show them that it’s not just about enforcement. We aim to support the community by preventing anti-social behaviour through diversion activities and education as well as the enforcement. This is a process done over time – developing close, effective relationships and building on the successes already achieved in the community, while being open and looking for areas to improve.”
As you can read in the autumn edition of Around Ealing, six of the seven key crime categories show a fall in offences in the borough, to the lowest overall point in 10 years. Paul is impressed by this and by the close partnership work between the council and the police that has developed in the borough. This includes the work of the domestic abuse response team, consisting of council and police officers: “This joint venture provides comprehensive, long-term support and intervention while also identifying people at risk. But it’s not just all focused on the victim, it also deals with the impact the abuse has on their children and the wider family. There are also male victims, more so than people realise.”
He also welcomed Ealing’s new Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy 2015-18 that was approved by the council’s cabinet in June. This aims to set out a comprehensive, partnership-based approach to deal with these offences and their impact.
Paul is clearly positive about his experience working in Ealing so far and is enthusiastic about the future in his role and the borough that he “loves”, for which he has many plans.
He is equally unreserved about his support for his family and favourite football team, Arsenal, and, when not on duty, enjoys fitness training along with a number of outdoor sports.
For more information about policing in the borough, visit the Ealing Metropolitan Police Service website.