“Out of control” offending by gangs on an estate has been dramatically reduced thanks to changes in policing techniques, the borough’s top cop has claimed.

Speaking at a public meeting on November 29, Detective Chief Superintendent Darren Williams, Merton police’s borough commander, claimed violent crime on the Phipps Bridge estate in Mitcham has been tackled by a combination of affirmative action, volunteering work, and changes to the police’s stop and search policy.

The estate was home to members of the All About Money gang, including Seydou ‘Nuts’ Diarrassouba, who was stabbed to death in Oxford Street on Boxing Day 2011 and Brian “Clips” Mudziwapasi, who was sentenced in November to 11 years in prison for shooting at police officers in Morden Road in February.

Det Chief Supt Williams said: “There was a view that gang offending had got out of control on the Phipps Bridge estate. We all know who the offenders were.

“Many of these young men are inside prison.

“The sentencing of Brian Mudziwapasi, who shot at two police officers in February, had a huge affect on gang offending on the Phipps.

“There was a huge chasm between local black youths and the police.

“I asked them what the issue was with the police and they complained the only time they saw us was when we stopped and searched them.”

He said the number of black men in Merton who have been stopped randomly for drugs has dropped by 45 per cent, while maintaining a “hit rate” of 27 per cent, which is the third best in London.

He also paid tribute to businesses and charities who were willing to let officers use their premises for free, such as Nuffield Health in Wimbledon town centre, where young people take part in a free martial arts course run by officers outside of work hours.

He added: “It really shook me. This is a borough where, if I ask for volunteers, a flood of people step up and say ‘I’m in’.

"I have never seen anywhere like it.”

His comments come less than six months after he told a public meeting he was unaware of any gangs in Mitcham.