Boris Johnson was challenged today over cuts to the Metropolitan Police in Enfield and Haringey. Mr Johnson and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner faced questions at City Hall from local Labour Assembly Member Joanne McCartney. Boris was questioned about cuts to frontline policing cover including cuts to police stations, police officers and proposed changes to the make up of local Safer Neighbourhood Teams.
The question and answer session comes at a time when the full extent of cuts to London’s emergency services has become clearer. In the past week the Mayor has confirmed which police and fire stations will be closed. A map outlining the extent of the cuts to emergency services across London has been compiled by Labour Group Leader Len Duvall AM.
The closures across the capital include: the loss of nine out of 32 A&E; cutting 12 fire stations, 18 fire engines and 560 fire-fighters; and the closure of 65 police front counters and stations.
The closures across Enfield and Haringey include: the loss of Chase Farm A&E; the closure of Winchmore Hill, Southgate and Muswell Hill police stations; and the downgrading of Tottenham and Hornsey police stations.
Local Labour London Assembly Member Joanne McCartney said:
“Today I challenged Boris on his planned cuts to the Police asked how much will be saved by closing local police stations. It is very worrying to hear that the Mayor cannot tell Londoners how much he is going to save and it is even more concerning that he cannot tell us how much his new ‘contact points’ will cost. If Boris does not know the actual figure of savings and costs, how can he say that closing police stations will be effective?
“He is cutting too far, too fast and is hitting the frontline. On top of this he is stripping back our local Safer Neighbourhood Police Teams this will mean fewer locally based police officers and PCSOs across London. This looks like a return to ‘sector’ policing which was abandoned as it was ineffective.
“We already know that Enfield has lost 68 police officers and Haringey has lost 37 in the last two years, but the Mayor’s plan confirms that the majority of London’s boroughs will have fewer police officers by 2015 than they did in 2010. All this is happening at a time when the London Fire Brigade and our Hospital Accident & Emergency Departments are also being cut back. This is further evidence that the Mayor and government are cutting too far, too fast and are hitting the frontline.”