Support Neighbourhood Policing

by Nigel Bakhai on 29 January, 2014

Please find below a copy of my speech to the January 2014 council meeting on the subject of neighbourhood policing in Ealing:

Mr Mayor, Crime is always identified as the number 1 concern for residents. In the 2012 Residents Survey, 20% identified crime and ASB as something they were most concerned about in Ealing. 13% were very satisfied 46% fairly satisfied with local policing in the borough. Crime is one the main determinants for well-being and for those who are dissatisfied with life in the borough crime  is the main reason given.

The good news is that nationally recorded crime has fallen by more than 10% since the coalition government came to power. The Lib Dems in Government are letting the police focus on cutting crime, not ticking boxes. We are cutting bureaucracy for the police, allowing them to focus on the front line and saving up to 4.5 million police hours every year. Crime is already lower across the board:

Burglary down 6%

Robbery down 7%

Violent crime down 6%

Crime is now at its lowest point since records began.

We are giving communities more powers to tackle anti-social behaviour and tackling re-offending by tackling drug addictions in prison and putting prisoners to work so they have the necessary skills to find employment when released.

However, all this good work is under threat in London. The Mayor’s Office for Policing & Crime (MOPAC) is planning 20% cut in costs – saving £500 million by 2016.

The Labour motion is wrong in blaming the Met Police for these changes in London. It is not Sir Bernand Hogan-Howe’s fault. Blame  for these cuts to neighbourhood policing should be fully directed at the Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson.

Police stations are closing or under threat across the capital.

In Hanwell, the police station has been closed and there is less police presence in the town centre and the Transport Police moved out.

The Front counter at Ealing is no longer manned 24/7.

The one thing we all agree on here and it is reflected in the Stevens report is that neighbourhood policing should be the bedrock of local policing.

Local police with SNTs at their heart provide local action, community engagement and help build up familiarity and trust between the Police and the citizens they serve.

However, SNTs need the resources to do their job. Instead changes to the local policing model means they have more responsibilities and less manpower.

SNT have been decimated by the Mayor of London and we seem to be returning to the Bad old days of Sector policing working in their cluster teams.

My ward of Elthorne has 6,000 homes and 14,500 residents

Like most wards we have 1 Sergeant 1 PC and 1 PCSO which is just not enough to meet all the demands on their time effectively.

Residents want to see more bobbies on the beat. Instead Police will be patrolling the main streets and shopping centres or housing estates but rarely seen in residential roads.

We must fight to ensure these changes do not undermine community safety and confidence in policing in our wards and across the borough. I move the Lib Dem amendment in my name.

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