Boris Returning To 'Ineffective' Policing Model

Accused of a draft crime plan full of " broken promises"

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The Mayor Boris Johnson has been accused of seeking to return to policing 1990s style with his draft Policing and Crime Plan.

London Assembly member Murad Qureshi said he appeared to be intent on reintroducing sector-based policing, a model which had been abandoned because it had led to poor relations at a local level.

Around 200 people turned out at Ealing Town Hall on Tuesday to hear about the proposed changes which willl mean Greenford Police Station closing and Ealing station's front counter moving.

The Safer Neighbourhood Teams - currently one sergeant, two PCs and three PCSOs per ward will be changed to one PC and PCSO per ward with support drawn from a pool of neighbourhood officers.

The number of senior officers will be reduced and the aim is to have more police constables in the borough - an increase of 63 to 727 in the next two years.

However, in an open letter, Mr. Quereshi said:" The Mayor's draft Policing and Crime Plan is full with Boris's broken promises. He pledged that every front counter he plans to close should be getting an equivalent or better facilities elsewhere. He pledged that the hours of the alternative contact points would be the same as those lost front counters. Both of these promises, made less then one year ago, will be broken if Boris has his way.

"The very idea put forward in the Mayor's draft Police and Crime plan that public access to the Met will be improved by cutting up to 65 police station front counters is totally misleading. One in four rape offences are reported at front counters. We're promised one 24 hour station in Hounslow but what about if you are a victim of crime elsewhere in the borough?

"The Mayor's draft policing plan marks the end of the Safer Neighbourhood Teams as we know them. It details how the current locally based Safer Neighbourhood Teams will have less dedicated resources. Currently, each SNT has three PCSOs, two PCs and one sergeant but it the Mayor is committed to offering only one dedicated PC and a "named sergeant". The rest of the local teams will cover much larger areas. I've always valued SNTs for their local knowledge and community relations but the Mayor seems intent on a return to ineffective Sector-based policing - a model abandoned in the late 1990s because it led to the police having poor relations at a local level.

Mr. Qureshi said he would encourage residents to have their say about the future of the Metropolitan Police and visit www.london.gov.uk/mopac.

The public have until March 6 to give their views on the changes.


February 7, 2013