Today the Mayor of London published his draft Police and Crime Plan for London and the list of front counters to be closed. In it the Mayor claims that he will increase the number of police officers based in each borough. However, new analysis shows that the plans will lead to fewer police officers based in two thirds of London’s boroughs, including Haringey.
The new analysis shows that compared to 2010 many boroughs will lose significant numbers of police officers. Haringey is set to lose 58 police officers.
The Mayor’s Draft Policing Plan also 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 we also learnt that Muswell Hill police station is proposed to close, with Tottenham and Hornsey police stations reduced from being open 24 hours a day to being open only during the day.
Local Labour London Assembly Member Joanne McCartney AM said:
“This plan confirms our worst fears. We already know that London has lost over 2,000 police officers in the last two years, but this plan confirms that the majority of London’s boroughs will have fewer police officers than in 2010. Combined with the closure of 65 police front counters and the loss of nearly half of London’s PCSOs, this will lead to a smaller police presence on our streets. The government and mayor are cutting too far and too fast, they are hitting the frontline.
“In Haringey we will lose 58 police officers compared to what we had in 2010, and that’s if the Mayor can actually deliver on his proposals which I don’t think he can. This is in addition to the current loss of 50 PCSOs since 2010, and means there will be less police on our streets.
“Muswell Hill station is set to close with Tottenham and Hornsey police stations opening hours reduced from 24/7 to only during the day. 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 week 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.”