Cuts to Policing (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
March 25, 2015
Question By: 
Andrew Dismore
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Andrew Dismore AM:  A straightforward question, Mr Mayor.  Please, a straightforward answer.  How many police officers did we have in Barnet in May 2010?

 

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Cuts to Policing (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for Cuts to Policing (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I am very happy to write to you afterwards with the numbers, but the relevant comparison, if I may say so, is not with 2010 but with 2008 when I was elected. 

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  I will tell you, Mr Mayor, how many there were.  I will tell you how many there were, Mr Mayor, because you do not know the answer. 

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  How many beans are there in an average tin of baked beans?

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  Are you comparing police officers to baked beans, Mr Mayor?  You think police officers are baked beans, do you?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I am asking you.  I am comparing you to a tin of baked beans.  In fact, a tin of baked beans might do a considerably better job of representing the people of Barnet than you. 

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  Let me tell you the answer, Mr Mayor. 

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  In fact, a tin of baked beans is more full of beans than you.

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  In fact, in May 2010 we had 607 police officers in Barnet.  We now have 539, a cut, despite what you say, of 69 officers or 11%; 112 fewer PCSOs or a cut of 65%; and in the last six months of last year we lost 98 officer shifts a week on average with our officers being taken off to do duties elsewhere.  Is it any wonder that people in Barnet tell me they do not see the police about any more and they are not satisfied?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Actually, I can tell you that the overall satisfaction in London is at levels we have not seen for a very long time.  It is rising and crime is falling and it is falling in Barnet as well in spite of the lamentable ‑‑

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  Actually, it is not.  I have the MOPAC figures here.  Crime in Barnet over the last year went up by 1.5%, violence went up by 32.7%, criminal damage by 9.1% and so it goes on.  Hate crime has gone through the roof.  You are not right, Mr Mayor.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Absolute nonsense. 

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  Crime has gone up in Barnet, not down.  Let me ask you another question.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  You can pick and choose your periods if you want. 

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  That is the last year.  These are your figures, not mine. 

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Crime overall in London went down by about 8% last year. 

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  Let me ask you another question, Mr Mayor. 

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Perhaps Barnet might have the good sense to get rid of their useless Assembly Member and they might see a corresponding fall in crime. 

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  Are you satisfied that Barnet police meet their emergency response time targets?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Actually, crime overall is down and crime in Barnet is down very substantially over the last four years and the last seven years.

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  Are you satisfied that Barnet police meet their emergency response times, Mr Mayor?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I do not have the emergency response times before me for Barnet, but I am sure that the police in Barnet do a great job and you should pay tribute to them. 

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  They certainly deal with the limited resources they have. 

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  You continually come to this place to slag off public servants when you should be supporting them.  It is true.  It is absolutely true.  He does.

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  Let me give you the answer, Mr Mayor.  In February, the Barnet police met their target only 80.7% of the time.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  There you go, endlessly whinging and moaning.

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  Emergency calls are being missed because there are not enough of them and you are to blame, are you not?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  The people of Barnet, given the choice between you and a tin of baked beans, would go for a tin of baked beans every time. 

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  Let me ask you another question, Mr Mayor. 

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Actually, crime in Barnet over the last four years has come down. 

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  How many burglaries in Barnet resulted in a prosecution?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Crime in Barnet has come down substantially ‑‑

 

Roger Evans AM (Chairman):  Can I just stop you both?  When we record this meeting, we do not do it in two columns and so we cannot write down what you are saying next to each other and leave people to decide. 

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  Tell him to answer the questions, then.

 

Roger Evans AM (Chairman):  Yes.  You need to ask a question and then wait for a response.  Mr Dismore, what was the question?  It was about Barnet. 

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  I have asked him several questions, Chair, and every time the Mayor just does not answer them. 

 

Roger Evans AM (Chairman):  Yes.  What was the question?

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  The last question was this.  What percentage of burglaries in Barnet resulted in a criminal prosecution last year?

 

Roger Evans AM (Chairman):  Thank you.  Mr Mayor, what is the answer?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  The answer is that I am very happy to write to you, Andrew, with the detail and the breakdown of criminal prosecutions of burglaries in Barnet.  However, overall crime in Barnet, as indeed crime in London, has come down very substantially not just over the last four years but over the last seven years and you ‑‑

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  That is not what your figures show.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  No, that is not true.

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  Look, all is red.  All of these columns have red.  Crime is going up.  All of these columns have red.  Crime is going up.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  If you look at what has happened in the last four years ‑‑

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  I will tell you, Mr Mayor.  Only 3% of burglaries resulted in prosecution.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  If you are really contesting that crime has not fallen in Barnet in the last four years, I really think you need to look at the statistics because you are totally wrong and you should withdraw that.

 

Roger Evans AM (Chairman):  Mr Dismore, do you have a supplementary?

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  Yes.  Can I tell you, Mr Mayor, that only 3% of burglaries in Barnet resulted in a criminal prosecution last year?  Can I also tell you that last year RAC did a survey in the autumn and found Barnet the most burgled borough in London?  Are you proud of that record?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I am proud of the record that the police in Barnet have achieved in bringing crime down.  Unquestionably, historically, there has been a problem of burglary in that area and nobody contests that.  The police in Barnet have put in a huge amount of work to deal with that.  There are problems with people coming from out of London to burgle those properties.  We are all familiar with that problem.  Overall, the record this year in bringing burglary down is colossal.  Far from rubbishing the efforts of the police, you should look at the successes that they are having.

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  Mr Mayor, I am not rubbishing the efforts of the police.  They did very well with what they have and what they have is not enough and you are to blame.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  That is not true because they have succeeded in bringing crime down very substantially.  If you had a single grain of honesty or intellectual candour ‑‑

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  Your figures.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  ‑‑ you would accept that and your election literature would consist of paeans of praise to the police of Barnet and the success that they have had in fighting crime.