London's police teams cut in half in just three years. Greens call for the current Mayor to change tack on his policing policy.

The number of local police officers in London regions has been cut by more than half since 2016.

Nearly two-in-three police staff in East London’s Safer Neighbourhood Team have been removed from duty in that period, and more than one-in two from South West London teams.

Sian Berry, Green Mayor of London candidate and party co-leader, said police data from Freedom of Information requests showed the current Mayor needed to change tack on policing.

She said: “Greens across London are hearing huge concerns about street crime like muggings as well as burglaries not being investigated.

“The current Mayor has overseen the centralisation of London’s police into Basic Command Units consisting of multiple boroughs and local policing has clearly suffered.

“Only a Green Mayor will prioritise local policing to strengthen our communities, because the evidence shows this is the real way to tackle crime and end violence.”

Research carried out by Green Assembly candidates Andree Frieze and Tim Kiely in their constituencies showed there had been a combined loss of 457 officers over three years, a 57% reduction.

East London teams saw a drop of 63%, from 343 staff to 128, a loss of 215 officers.

South West London officer numbers dropped 53%, from 458 to 216, with 242 fewer officers.

Meanwhile, there has been a 78% drop in police stations in East London, where a police station is defined as an operational building with a front counter, with the number of front counters dropping from nine to two since 2012.

Ms Frieze, a Richmond Councillor for Ham and Petersham, pointed out how the town has lost its police station as well as its Safer Neighbourhood Team office. Richmond's Business Partnership group has resorted to hiring private security staff to plug the local policing gap.

She said: “There are problems with teenagers being targeted on their way home from school and having phones and earpods stolen - one young man was unfortunate enough to be mugged twice.

“We’ve had burglars coming into homes, taking car keys from bedside tables and then stealing cars, which the police took far too long to start investigating because they don’t have enough staff.

“These police cuts are no way to build safer communities and must be reversed.

In 2018, borough commands in Richmond, Wandsworth, Merton and Kingston were merged into a single South West London unit, and Hackney and Tower Hamlets became a Central East unit.

The Conservative Government has also cut nearly a third from direct government funding to the Metropolitan Police since 2010.

 

 


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