Camden top rugby cop is ready to kick villains into touch

As someone who scrummed down beside a former England 6ft 10inch lock forward on the Metropolitan Police’s rugby team - Camden’s new head of crime is not afraid to knock a few heads together.

While the borough might not have the gritty reputation of Detective Superintendent Richard Tucker’s former stomping ground in east London, Camden’s latest recruit has not changed his philosophy on policing.

This is simply to make the area a “hostile environment for villains”.

With the Olympics around the corner, Det Supt Tucker’s priority is to break the hold of pickpockets and thieves.

In the lead up to Christmas, robbery in Camden soared as gangs of thieves riding bikes and mopeds snatched expensive mobile phones and other electronic devices from pedestrians.

Det Supt Tucker, who at 46-years-old still turns out for his local rugby club, told the Ham&High: “It’s a high profile borough because of the number of visitors we get and its wealthy residents, which means a huge number of potential victims.

“If you read travel pieces about Paris or Barcelona, horrible things are said because of the experiences visitors have there.

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“There is a reputation that seems to have developed that Camden is a happy hunting ground for thieves.

“With the Olympics on the horizon, my goal is to make Camden as safe and pleasant for residents and visitors as possible.”

Changing the landscape for thieves is as simple as clamping down on those who skip travel fares, exercising a zero-tolerance policy to cycling on pavements and having a quiet word with any unscrupulous characters, according to the new head of Camden’s crime division.

He said: “For me it’s about knowing the community, the shopkeepers. We paid a price for getting in cars and answering calls.

“My attitude is that the role the police plays goes from having that cup of tea with Mrs Miggins and then sometimes it’s about kicking a few doors in, if necessary of course.”

A graduate from the old school, Det Supt Tucker believes there is still a place for back-to-basics policing.

His main goal is to get more bobbies on the beat by reducing the number behind desks and reduce crime by 20 per cent.

“The Metropolitan Police was not set up to give people jobs,” he said. “It was created to protect people and we need everyone pulling in the same direction.”