Boris Johnson was challenged today over cuts to the Metropolitan Police in Barking & Dagenham. Mr Johnson and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner faced questions at City Hall from local Labour Assembly Member John Biggs. Boris was questioned about cuts to frontline policing cover including cuts to police stations, police officers and the recent “sham” consultations that his deputy Stephen Greenhalgh has been attending across London.
he question and answer session comes at a time when the full extent of cuts to London’s emergency services has become clearer. In the past week the Mayor has confirmed which police and fire stations will be closed. A map outlining the extent of the cuts to emergency services across London has been compiled by Labour Group Leader Len Duvall AM.
The closures across the capital include: the loss of nine out of 32 A&E; cutting 12 fire stations, 18 fire engines and 560 fire-fighters; and the closure of 65 police front counters and stations.
In Barking & Dagenham three out of the four police stations currently operating are set to close – Marks Gate, Dagenham and Barking. The well Residents of Barking will also be affected by the closure of the nearby A&E at King George’s Hospital.
Local Labour London Assembly Member John Biggs said:
“Today I challenged Boris on his planned cuts to the Police, questioning him on the commitment he made that no front counter would be closed unless an equivalent replacement had been identified. Unsurprisingly he did not give me a straight answer to this He is cutting too far, too fast and is hitting the frontline. On top of this he is stripping back our local Safer Neighbourhood Police Teams this will mean fewer locally based police officers and PCSOs across London. This looks like a return to ‘sector’ policing which was abandoned as it was ineffective.
The Mayor’s plan confirms that the majority of London’s boroughs will have fewer police officers by 2015 than they did in 2010. All this is happening at a time when the London Fire Brigade and our Hospital Accident & Emergency Departments are also being cut back. This is further evidence that the Mayor and government are cutting too far, too fast and are hitting the frontline.”