An east London borough that has been calling on Boris Johnson for extra police resources since 2009 had its wishes answered today, with news that it would receive London’s biggest police increase.
Despite facing clear inner city challenges Waltham Forest was classed as an ‘outer London’ borough. This meant it received far fewer police officers than neighbouring boroughs like Hackney and Newham and meant the Council had to find innovative solutions to its problems, like paying for extra officers itself and launching an innovative – and much-heralded – anti-gangs initiative.
The Council led a high-profile campaign for a fairer deal, and the local community rallied behind it: some 7,500 people backing its campaign calling on the Metropolitan Police Authority and the Mayor of London to redress the balance and give Waltham Forest its fair due.
Today’s figures from the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) show Waltham Forest is set to receive an additional 78 officers. In addition to these invaluable, on-the-ground officers, it is the Council’s understanding that the borough will also be receiving high-level support from senior officers – almost raising its allocation to the magic 120 figure it has long been campaigning for.
“This is absolutely fantastic news and we’re tremendously grateful that the Mayor has answered our call for extra officers ,” said Chris Robbins, Leader of Waltham Forest Council. “Our local police do a tremendous job, but the truth of the matter is that the thin blue line has been stretched even thinner considering the challenges our local officers face.
“Residents have told us time and again that community safety is one of their top priorities, and despite limited resources we’ve already driven down gang crime and reduced violent offences like robbery. With a fuller, fairer allocation and the ongoing success of our anti-gangs scheme I think we can continue this trend and make an even bigger difference to the daily lives of local people.”