Today the Mayor of London published his draft Police and Crime Plan for London. In it the Mayor claims that he will increase the number of police officers based in each borough (p10-11 of attached report). However, new analysis carried out by Labour’s London Assembly Police & Crime Spokesperson, Joanne McCartney shows that in two thirds of London’s boroughs there will be fewer police officers than in 2010.
The new analysis shows that compared to 2010 many boroughs will lose significant numbers of police officers, including:
Camden losing 111 police officers
Lambeth losing 157 police officers
Southwark losing 132 police officers
Westminster losing 202 police officers
The Mayor’s Draft Policing Plan also details how the current locally based Safer Neighbourhood Teams will have less dedicated resources. Each SNT currently has three PCSOs, two PCs and one sergeant. The new model will see each SNT having only one dedicated PC and a “named sergeant”. This is a move back to Sector-based policing, a model that was abandoned in the late 1990s as it was deemed to be ineffective and led to the police having poor relations on a local level.
Labour London Assembly Police & Crime Spokesperson Joanne McCartney AM said:
"This plan confirms our worst fears. We already know that London has lost over 2,000 police officers in the last two years, but this plan confirms that the majority of London’s boroughs will have fewer police officers than in 2010. Combined with the closure of 65 police front counters and the loss of nearly half of London’s PCSOs, this will lead to a smaller police presence on our streets. The government and mayor are cutting too far and too fast, they are hitting the frontline.
“To make matters worse this proposed plan details how the Mayor will strip out our local Safer Neighbourhood Teams which are vital in fighting crime in London. SNTs build local knowledge and get to know their patch, the proposals today look very much like a return to the old model of sector policing which does not have this strong local link. The Mayor’s plans will also see a loss of many experienced senior officers, which raises obvious concerns about the supervision of police constables.
“We doubt the mayor can keep his election promises, as HMIC reported last week police visibility is down and this trend will continue. Contrary to what they say, this is further evidence that the Mayor and Government are cutting too far too fast."
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