Publication from Siân Berry: Where do our borough police live?
Half of borough police officers live outside Londo
Sian Berry has revealed that half of London’s borough police officers live outside London, in her report released today.
Numbers haven't improved despite Met initiatives to recruit more officers who live in the capital. To attract more people living in London the Met removed commuting allowances and introduced residency criteria that required new recruits to have lived in London for at least three of the last six years.
In many inner London boroughs only a tiny number of officers actually live in the communities they serve every day. An average of 8 per cent of officers live in the borough that they work: just one officer in Islington, two in Kensington and Chelsea and four in Southwark.
Housing costs may play a part in where officers choose to live as average rents are now more than 50 per cent of the take-home pay of a new police constable.
If the police service is to have a real understanding of London’s diverse boroughs and communities, we have to recruit and retain more officers who don’t just look like the people they serve but who come from and live in our communities.
With little progress made, the Mayor, Met Commissioner and new Deputy Mayor for Policing must revisit the issue of where our police live. Promises to achieve ambitious goals for ethnic and gender balance depend on making more effective plans to recruit from within London. They should also give officers incentives to stay in London when their family circumstances and housing needs change.