Local Policing Model (Supplementary) [4]

Session date: 
March 19, 2014
Question By: 
Andrew Dismore
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

I think people are also interested to know that when they dial 999 the police are going to turn up.  You have what is called the ‘I call’ which means in most emergency calls the police have to turn up within 15 minutes, 90% of the time is your target, the ‘S call’ within an hour, 90% of the time.  In Barnett for the last three months they have consistently failed to meet the targets for both I and S calls, second worst performance in the whole of London.  What are you going to do about it?

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Local Policing Model (Supplementary) [4]

Answer for Local Policing Model (Supplementary) [4]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I am afraid I do not have the targets here for what we are achieving in Barnet because --

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  I have them here, I have just told you.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I cannot confirm those figures for you, but I have the figures for what we are doing in Greenwich and in Lewisham.

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  I am not interested in that, I asked about Barnet.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I will look at what you are saying and if there is something we can do to address it, Andrew, then I shall.  I repeat that the most important indicator for me is not only that crime is coming down but everybody who is the victim of a crime under what we are doing, under the plans that we have rolled out, gets a visit from a police officer.

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  The thing is, they want the visit to come promptly within the scheduled time.  The point about it, Mr Mayor, is this: it goes beyond this. Due to the target-driven culture you have got here, the position is actually worse.  I understand from police sources that if they miss the attendance times of one hour for an S call, if you do not get the police officer in an hour and ten minutes, or an hour and 15 minutes, it goes to the back of the queue and you could wait hours.  I have heard from police sources that if they are outside the attendance time they will start to book in before they have actually arrived, by three or four minutes before they arrive, so it makes it look like they have actually met the target, when they arrive five minutes or so later.  If that is true that is a despicable and unsavoury practice and they are fiddling the figures.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Sorry, who are you calling despicable?

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  The fact is, will you look into the fiddling of the figures?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Who are you calling despicable?

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  I am calling a practice despicable, where officers are booking in before they have actually arrived to make it look like they are meeting the time when they are not.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I do not think you should say that the police officers who are coming to the assistance of people in Barnet are despicable --

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  No, I did not say that.

 

Darren Johnson (Chair):  I think, to be fair, he was saying the practice was despicable rather than the individuals.

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  I am saying the practice of booking in before they have arrived is wrong and will you look into this and make sure it is dealt with, because I suspect it is not just Barnet, I suspect your target-driven culture has created this problem throughout London?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I do not know quite what despicable behaviour of the police you are referring to.  I do not think the police behave despicably.  My impression is that the police behave very honourably and very courageously and do their best to look after people in this city.

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  Will you look into it?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I think they will be amazed that the Member for Barnet has said that they are doing something that is despicable.

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  Are you quite happy for this to continue then?  You are not prepared to look into it, because it suits your targets, it makes it look better than it really is, doesn’t it?  That is why you are prepared to let it continue.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  We are succeeding in reducing crime in your borough --

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  You are prepared to let it continue because it suits you.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  -- and all you can say to give thanks to the police who are helping to make your constituents safer is that they are doing something despicable.  I think you should withdraw your assertion.

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  I think you should look into the issues of your targets because it suits you.  It suits you not to look into this abuse, doesn’t it?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I really think that if Barnet has a problem it is only that it is very, very badly represented by its Labour Assembly Member.  That is my view.  If there is something we can do to get faster response times for the I calls and the S calls then yes, of course we should do that.  The truth is that our police, and your police, Andrew Dismore, are doing an exceptional job of helping to bring down crime and they deserve your support.