Step change (Supplementary) [2]

Session date: 
November 19, 2003
Question By: 
Valerie Shawcross
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


If you wanted evidence that the localisation of policing is very effective, you will recall that you did a public meeting in Rotherhithe. In that area, following a local policing plan that was drawn up after that visit and the application of additional police resources and now some PCSOs, there has been a 25% reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour incidents reported.

One of the problems that I think we face is there are many areas where there are hotspots of crime and anti-social behaviour, which cross the boundaries. You mentioned Crystal Palace earlier on with five boroughs. We have places like Herne Hill where two boroughs meet. We have places like Elephant and Castle, Walworth and Camberwell. Do you think there is a role for managing local police initiatives, local police planning in a way that would provide a better service to those areas, which are on the borders?

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Step change (Supplementary) [2]

Answer for Step change (Supplementary) [2]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Clearly as we go through this dramatic expansion of policing, simply grafting more and more police officers on to the structure, which we inherited, which has really been there for decades, is not going to be adequate. I suspect, if we were in a position to do this overnight, it would have very severe problems. As it is going to be taken stage-by-stage over four years, as the problems are identified, we will be able to deal with them. I do think we will probably see a very root and branch reform of the way policing operates, particularly to deal with problems. It is not just, of course, Crystal Palace. There are problems at Finsbury Park where borough commands meet. We will have to strengthen inter-borough command liaison. I can understand the democratic imperative that led to the creation of 32 policing units to reflect the boroughs, but I do not think that is the size the police would have chosen if they were looking at it purely as if it were a police initiative. I think they would have looked at something much more about 10 or 12.