Brent and Harrow
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Sadiq Khan Mayor of London
Navin Shah GLA Brent & Harrow
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Boris Johnson’s Special Constable pledge in tatters as numbers plummet 57% in Brent & 47% in Harrow

Boris Johnson’s Special Constable pledge in tatters as numbers plummet 57% in Brent & 47% in Harrow

 

The Mayor of London’s promise to “double the number of Special Officers to 10,000” looks to be in tatters after the Met’s latest figures showed that there are now only 3,253 Specials in the capital, 43% fewer than in May 2012 when he made the pledge. In Brent the number fell 57% from 175 in May 2012 to only 76 in December 2015. In Harrow the number fell 47% from 138 in May 2012 to only 73 in December 2015.

 

Special constables are volunteer police officers with all the powers of police officers. The falling number of special constables comes on top of significant cuts to the number of police community support officers (PCSOs) over the past few years. Met statistics show that in Brent since 2010 135 PCSOs and 703 Police officers have been cut from the streets, 29% of the original number. Labour London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow Navin Shah, warned that the cumulative impact of the drop in Specials, PCSOs and police officers risks leaving a “much reduced police force for his successor.”

 

When the Mayor was re-elected in May 2012 there were 5,677 Specials in London, according to the latest figures there are now only 3,253. The figures represent an embarrassing failure for the Mayor who previously said that Specials represented a ‘vital link’ between the police and the public.

  

Labour London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow, Navin Shah AM said:

 

“In 2012 Boris recognised the significant role Special Constables play in providing an important link between the police and public and bolstering our police service. Despite his promise to double their ranks what we’ve actually seen is a dramatic and continuing fall in the number of Special Constables, including in Brent which has seen a 29% decline. At this rate he may well have less than half of what he started with by the time he leaves office.

 

“With PCSO and police officer numbers also in decline, the falling number of Specials should be of real concern. Boris should be asking why the Met is failing to attract enough people, is it because the opportunities are not well enough advertised or is the increasing pressure facing the police putting people off?

 

“Between the drop in Special and PCSO numbers, Boris looks set to leave a much reduced police force for his successor.”

 

ENDS

 

Notes

-       Figures on Police Officer and PCSO numbers can be found here.

-       A breakdown of the decline in Special Constables between 2012 and 2015 can be found below:

 

Month-Year

Brent

Special Constables

MPS Total

 
 

May-12

175

5,677

 

Dec-15

76

3,253

 

Decrease in Special Constables since May 2012

99

2,424

 

% loss

57%

43%

 


Source: Met datastore, accessed 02 March 2016

-       A breakdown of the decline in Police Officers and PCSOs between 2010 and 2015 can be found below:

 

 

Brent

MPS Total

 

Officers May 2010

703

33,147

PCSOs May 2010

135

4489

Uniformed Officers May 2010

838

37,636

Officers Dec 15

579

31,612

PCSOs Dec 15

16

1,663

Total Uniformed Officers Dec 2015

595

33,275

 

 

 

 

 

Police Officer Number decline since May 10

124

1,535

Police Officer % decline since May 10

18%

5%

 

 

 

 

 

PCSO Decline since May 10

119

2,826

PCSO % Decline since May 10

88%

63%

 

 

 

 

Uniformed Officer Decline May 10

243

4,361

% Uniformed Officer Decline

29%

13%

Source: Met datastore, accessed 02 March 2016

-       In his 2012 Crime Manifesto, available here, Boris Johnson wrote “I will aim to double the current number of Special Constables further to 10,000. Their remit will be to work in the evenings, on the transport network and with Safer Neighbourhood Teams.” (page 13)

-       In the same document the Mayor said Specials were a “vital link between the police and the public, strengthening the consent and support on which the police rely.” (page 13)

 
 

38% say police don’t have a visible presence in Harrow

 

-          Figures from the Met’s Confidence Comparator show 38% of people living in Harrow feel the Met do not provide visible policing presence in their area

-          Across the capital figures show 47% of Londoners feel the Met do not provide visible policing presence in their area

-          Mayor set to miss target to increase public confidence in the Met by 20%

 

The data, drawn from the Met’s recently launched ‘Confidence Comparator’ found that just 62% of local residents felt police were providing a visible policing presence in Harrow with some areas of the borough seen to be worse than others. In some parts of the borough, this figure was as low as 60%.

There is a similar picture forming across the Capital, with 47% of Londoners saying the police do not have a visible presence in their respective areas.

The figures have sparked criticism of the Mayor of London’s decision to cut back neighbourhood policing teams from six uniformed officers to only two, with Navin Shah AM calling on the Mayor to put more police officers back into boroughs. Since the current Government came to power 4,333 police officers and PCSOs have been lost from London’s streets, including 105 from Harrow.

The Mayor commissioned a review of the new neighbourhood policing units in July 2014 but has so far refused to release the review’s findings despite concerns that the new setup is leaving neighbourhood policing stretched. The worrying confidence figures come only a week after it was revealed that violent crime in the capital rose 22% last year, rising by 14% in Harrow.

 It’s now very likely that the Mayor will miss his target to increase public confidence by 20% and it’s not hard to see why. The cuts to police numbers and the Mayor’s decision to dismantle neighbourhood policing teams have clearly been noticed by people in Harrow and indeed across the Capital. It’s increasingly clear that we need to see more officers back on the beat in our local neighbourhoods.

 

ENDS

 

Notes

                                             

-          Figures on Visibility and Confidence from the Mayor of London can be found here. Figures were drawn from the Met’s ‘Confidence Comparator’ which is available here

-          The ‘Confidence Comparator’ found that when asked ‘how well do you think the Metropolitan Police provide a visible patrolling presence?’ just 53% of Londoners answered they felt their police were doing “well” or “to some extent” providing a visible policing presence in their neighbourhood.

-          Percentage scores for confidence in the police are derived from a rolling yearly questionnaire of over 12,000 Londoners as part of the Public Attitudes Survey (PAS).

-          Figures on Police Numbers from the Mayor of London can be found at: London Datastore

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26th January 2015