Brent and Harrow
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Sadiq Khan Mayor of London
Navin Shah GLA Brent & Harrow
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Police cuts to hit Brent

Letter to the Press from Navin Shah AM:

Brent Police have continually improved the quality of life for the borough’s citizens over the last decade. I feel therefore that it is a backwards step for 19 police officers to be lost in Brent this year because of a freeze in recruitment, with the possibility of bigger cuts on the way.

Under plans revealed in a report presented to the Metropolitan Police Authority the force is set to recruit 900 fewer officers by next year than previously planned. I believe these cuts do not reflect the necessity to maintain a police presence in Brent, especially when it will lead to the police having to choose which crimes they tackle with reduced resources.

The report warns that the Met will not be putting the same amount of resource into tackling winter crime this year. In previous years "Operation Bumblebee" has sought to tackle the traditional rise in burglary around Christmas time. Budget pressures could mean the force having to decide "where to target resources (e.g. serious youth violence vs. burglary)", according to the report.

The report says the Met failed to meet twelve key targets in the first quarter of financial year 2010/11. Robbery is up 5.8 per cent; knife crime has increased to 4.1 per cent; and car thefts have increased for the first time in eleven years.

The country's finances obviously mean tough choices have to be made but when it comes down to having to choose between tackling violence or burglary, it's there for all to see what the government's cuts really mean. People round here didn't cause the financial crisis yet they are being expected to take the hit for it.

In the last few years we have seen record numbers of police, dedicated safer neighbourhood teams and falling crime. It looks like this is now under threat from the new government and Mayor.

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13th October 2010