Today the Mayor of London published his draft Police and Crime Plan for London. In it the Mayor claims that he will increase the number of police officers based in each borough (p10-11 of attached report). However, new analysis shows that the plans will lead to fewer police officers based in two thirds of London's boroughs, including Hackney and Islington.
The new analysis shows that compared to 2010 many boroughs will lose significant numbers of police officers, including:
• Hackney losing 85 police officers
• Islington losing 64 police officers
The Mayor’s Draft Policing Plan details how the current locally based Safer Neighbourhood Teams will have less dedicated resources. Each SNT currently has three PCSOs, two PCs and one sergeant. The new model will see each SNT having only one dedicated PC and a “named sergeant”. This is a move back to Sector-based policing, a model that was abandoned in the late 1990s as it was deemed to be ineffective and led to the police having poor relations on a local level.
Today it was also revealed that Hackney Police Station will close, as well as Waltham House, Walthamstow Town Centre Safer Neighbourhood Unit, Walthamstow Police Station and Leyton Police Station.
Local Labour London Assembly Member Jennette Arnold OBE AM said:
"In Hackney we will lose 85 police officers with 64 fewer in Islington than in 2010, and that's if the Mayor can actually deliver on his proposals which I don't think he can.
“We have also learnt that we are losing Hackney Police Station as well as Waltham House, Walthamstow Town Centre Safer Neighbourhood Unit, Walthamstow Police Station and Leyton Police Station. This will make it harder for local people to report serious crimes and reduce the police's presence.
“To make matters worse this proposed plan details how the Mayor will strip out our local Safer Neighbourhood Teams which are vital in fighting crime in London. SNTs build local knowledge and get to know their patch, the proposals today look very much like a return to the old model of sector policing which does not have this strong local link. The Mayor’s plans will also see a loss of many experienced senior officers, which raises obvious concerns about the supervision of police constables.
“We doubt the Mayor can keep his election promises, as HMIC reported last year police visibility is down and this trend will continue. Contrary to what they say, this is further evidence that the Mayor and Government are cutting too far too fast."