London’s safer neighbourhood police teams – currently assigned to every ward in the city – are under threat as the number of sergeants is cut in half, it was revealed at a meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA).
Safer neighbourhood teams are currently made up of one sergeant, two constables and three PCSOs. But asked about the future of the teams, acting Met commissioner Tim Godwin said the number of sergeants is to be cut by half – from 630 to 330 by the end of 2013.
100 sergeants are set to go by 2011/12 and a further 200 in 2012/13, the acting commissioner said.
Boris Johnson said in 2008, “I fully support the Safer Neighbourhood Team model, and I am committed to ensuring that there are at least six officers in every ward.” But according to newspaper reports this week, the Mayor’s deputy in charge of policing has already ordered the model to be scrapped.
The newspaper says that the number of safer neighbourhood teams in the borough of Merton will be slashed from 20 to nine.
The cuts come despite the fact the Met is currently reviewing the “3-2-1” model and has not yet made any recommendations. The Met have said that no changes will be made without proper consultation.
London Assembly and MPA member Joanne McCartney said: “This is real blow to neighbourhood policing – the jewel in the Met’s crown in recent years. It comes as a shock as we’ve been told the future of the teams is still under review and has not yet been decided.
“Losing this many officers from the streets of London brings home the reality of the government’s cuts.”
- The MPA full authority met yesterday (Thursday 27 Jan) to discuss the Policing London Business Plan 2011-14http://www.mpa.gov.uk/committees/mpa/2011/0127/07/