Navin in the News
Navin's News: Policing
The Mayor must come clean on future of Neighbourhood Police teams
I am calling on Mayor Boris Johnson to "come clean" about the future of neighbourhood policing in Brent and Harrow following reports that bosses have demanded they be changed.
All twenty-one wards in each borough are each currently covered by a safer neighbourhood team (SNT) made up of a minimum of one sergeant, two police constables and three police community support officers. But reports from elsewhere in London suggest that the make up of the teams could be changed.
Safer neighbourhood teams work well and are highly valued in Brent. But despite Boris Johnson's promise to support them we're getting mixed messages about their future. The Mayor must come clean and be honest with Londoners about the reality of his cuts and whether our team is safe. I don’t want to see the level of crime creep up in Brent or Harrow because of tinkering with our local Safer Neighbourhood teams.
In Merton it was reported last week that, "The Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, and Kit Malthouse, London’s Deputy Mayor in charge of policing, are demanding borough police forces scrap the existing “one-two-three” structure where each SNT has one sergeant, two constables and three community support officers."
And on BBC London this week, it was reported that in Westminster the police are proposing to merge 14 electoral wards in the north of the borough, each currently covered by six officers, into five bigger districts. "These proposals would result in a 50 per cent reduction in the number of sergeants, leaving those remaining responsible for policing a wider area", according to the BBC.
Acting Met commissioner Tim Godwin told the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) last week that the number of neighbourhood policing sergeants will be halved from 630 to 330 by the end of 2013.
Boris Johnson said in 2008, "I fully support the Safer Neighbourhood Team model, and I am committed to ensuring that there at least 6 officers in every ward."
The MPA is currently reviewing safer neighbourhood teams and is due to report later this month. I will of course update on this issue here.
You can find your SNT here: http://www.met.police.uk/saferneighbourhoods/
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