The scheme covering several estates affected by burglary in Vassal Ward, Brixton, was made possible after the home office gave the thumbs up to a joint council-police bid.
'This is a ground-breaking initiative which could show the way for estates in Lambeth and other boroughs,' said Lambeth's chair of housing Tom Franklin. 'We hope to make estates in the ward safer and pleasanter for everyone - except the crooks. We aim to crack down on burglars, and, by boosting confidence in the police and council, encourage residents to get involved in the fight too.'
Other measures include establishment of a confidential freephone line to encourage residents to pass information on; regular police surgeries with a weekly briefing/debriefing of rangers by the divisional burglary squad; use of centinel alarms; and naming and shaming of residents convicted of burglary.
Chief Supt Simon Foy said: 'We welcome this initiative and see it as a good example of the police and the local authority working together under the new community safety partnership.'
The estates, Cowley, Myatts Field North, Myatts Field South and Overton Road, had 156 burglaries from April 1997 - March 1998 and 176 from April 1998 - March 1999. Almost a quarter of the burglaries occurred within an hour of the victim leaving the premises.
Objectives include reducing burglary on these estates by 10 per cent and increasing the amount of information coming from community to police and vice versa.