Neighbourhood Policing

MQT on 2017-01-18
Session date: 
January 18, 2017
Question By: 
Unmesh Desai
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


What will be the criteria used to select which wards will be allocated additional neighbourhood police officers, over and above 2 officers and a PCSO?


Answer for Neighbourhood Policing

Answer for Neighbourhood Policing

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Thank you for your question.  The safety of Londoners is my highest priority.  We are returning to real neighbourhood policing, as I promised in my manifesto.  This means effective and trusted officers who know and are known by the communities they serve.  We are on track to deliver an additional dedicated police officer in every London neighbourhood by the end of 2017 and, since I announced the commitment, 295 wards now have their additional officer in place.  This will guarantee a minimum of two dedicated police officers and one dedicated [Police] Community Support Officer in every one of the capital’s wards.  The local knowledge helps to prevent and detect crime and they are the local eyes and ears of our security services.  They are essential to improving trust and confidence in our police and keeping our communities safe.  These officers are ring-fenced so that they can focus on tackling crime and solving problems in their communities rather than being moved to other duties elsewhere in the capital. 


For those wards that face the greatest challenges, I want to go further than even this substantial increase.  The changes to borough policing arrangements will enable additional dedicated ward officers to be deployed to those wards where they are needed most.  These officers will be distributed based on local demand and need and in consultation with local stakeholders. 


This new model will be tested over the next few months in two areas of London which are the pathfinders for new policing command units: Camden and Islington, and Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge. 


Unmesh Desai AM:  Thank you for that answer, Mr Mayor.  If we just come back to you, you have partially answered my question, but we had Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt who appeared before the Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee on 15 December [2016] and he was very specific.  He told us, just as you said, two dedicated officers per ward was a minimum and some high-demand wards may be allocated six or seven officers.  It would be demand-led.  You would agree with him in principle, anyway.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  That is one of the reasons why the pathfinders are quite important to see how we can prioritise police officers to where they are needed.


Unmesh Desai AM:  On the assumption that some wards would get additional officers, where would they come from?  Would they be ring-fenced just like the two dedicated officers?


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  One of the things we are consulting on in the Police and Crime Plan is how we change borough policing.  You will be aware previously there was the MOPAC 7.  We are looking at a number of issues in relation to investigation, emergency response, vulnerability and also neighbourhood policing, whether it is schools liaison and other things.  Under the current system, there are 100 other wards in London that have an additional dedicated officer based upon need.  We want a similar system going forward, with those wards, those neighbourhoods which have the greatest needs, having additional resources there.  They would be dedicated.  That is the idea.  Save for the exceptions - Notting Hill Carnival, New Year’s Eve - they would not be pulled from those wards.  They would say in those wards and do neighbourhood policing.


Unmesh Desai AM:  I just want to be clear about the ring-fencing element of it.  Would you see the additional officers in the same way as the two dedicated officers who will be ring-fenced?


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  That is the hope, yes.


Unmesh Desai AM:  Yes.  Thank you.