Value for Money (Supplementary) [9]

Session date: 
May 22, 2002
Question By: 
Roger Evans
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Well, this is the problem, isn't it? If I was setting the budget for the police as you do, then I would want to have some say in how it was spent and the sort of services that people in outer London were receiving. And I wouldn't want to just shrug that issue off on the people who run the MPA, particularly if, like yourself, I was someone who didn't think the MPA was adding much value.

I read all about it.

Roger Evans: I can tell you that they were very supportive of your work dealing with unlicensed taxis and touts, but they were concerned that all this work appeared to have been done again in the centre of London and nothing had been done in our area where the problem is extreme and needs sorting out. Would you therefore accept an invitation from us to come and lead a very high profile anti-touting operation around Ilford and Romford to deal with some of the problems that we identified during that evening?

I had an excellent meeting with black cab taxi drivers in my part of London a couple of weeks ago.

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Value for Money (Supplementary) [9]

Answer for Value for Money (Supplementary) [9]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Part of the problem was, at the time of the Mayoral election, I think the Metropolitan Police had allocated two or three police officers to deal with taxi touting London-wide. That's clearly completely inadequate. What I have done is get a legal agreement between TfL and the Metropolitan Police to allocate 209 police plus a whole raft of supporting wardens to crack down on crime on buses. They will also be used for cracking down on taxi touting. Taxi touting activity by the police was put on hold with the shift of resources to try and tackle street crime.

I regret that decision; I think it was a mistake, but we will undoubtedly be operating in outer London as well as inner London given the sexual assaults in Croydon mentioned later on in the agenda. Quite clearly it's not just a problem in central London. Once that new transport policing unit is set up it will be used London-wide to crack down on touting and I'll occasionally be there.