One of the most successful policies implemented by former Mayor, Ken Livingstone, was the introduction of Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams for each ward in London.
These officers provided local people with reassurance, they were able to form strong, local links to help reduce crime, and they improved the public’s opinion of the Met while also making people feel safer.
It’s extremely concerning then to see that these teams are being cut across London. In Hammersmith the teams of 6 officers are being reduced to only 2 officers assigned to each ward.
This change is completely ridiculous, and it marks the end of a hugely successful move towards neighbourhood policing.
The Mayor’s own London Datastore website shows that in Hammersmith & Fulham 82 police officers have been lost -; a drop of 14%. The borough has also lost 76 Police Community Support Officers -; 67% of the total.
London wide, over 3,000 officers have been lost meaning there are now only around 30,000 officers in the city.
Those of you with good memories might remember our former Council leader, Stephen Greenhalgh, now Deputy Mayor for Policing, saying last year that it would be a “doomsday scenario” for policing if the number of officers dipped below 31,000.
Mr Greenhalgh can find £100,000 to spend on water cannon, however.
The Council, instead of spending money on making the Borough safer, chooses to spend its cash on promotional material and vanity banners hanging from lamp posts, telling us how safe we’re meant to feel.
I will be raising these issues with new Borough Commander for Hammersmith & Fulham, Gideon Springer. He took over the role on Monday and I’d like to welcome him to the area and I hope that we can work closely together to make this Borough safer.