Just one of Islington’s police officers actually lives in Islington – report

Supt Jo Walker with Hackney and Islington officers in Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park, during Operati

Supt Jo Walker with Hackney and Islington officers in Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park, during Operation Red Kite last year (Picture: James Morris) - Credit: Archant

Just one of Islington’s 571 Pcs actually lives in Islington, a report has revealed.

The paper by Green Assembly member Sian Berry released yesterday also shows more than half the borough’s officers – 57pc – live outside London altogether.

The figure of one officer – 0.2 per cent – is the lowest in London. Croydon boasts 146 borough officers living on patch, while Barking and Dagenham with 106 and Enfield with 101 are next.

But on average, 7pc of Pcs live in the boroughs they serve, while fewer than half – 49pc – call the capital their home.

Ms Berry said more needed to be done to ensure officers reflected the communities they served.

“I think that the service to Londoners provided by the Metropolitan Police Service – and our community’s confidence in that service – would be improved if more borough police officers were drawn from and lived within the areas they serve,” she added.

She also urged Met commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe and the new deputy mayor for policing and crime Sophie Linden “should make more effective plans torecruit from within London” and “do more to support and incentivise officers to stay in London when their family circumstances and housing needs change”.

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“Police officers need to have a real understanding of London’s diverse boroughs and communities,” she said. “We have to recruit and retain more officers who don’t just look like the people they serve but who come from and live in our communities.”

Scotland Yard pointed out it had introduced a new requirement for Pc recruits to have lived in the capital for three of the last six years back in 2014.

A spokesman added: “We are attracting sufficient officers from inside London to meet our recruitment needs.

“Existing officers have access to a subsidised travel scheme and free travel on TfL. Officers have access to the various government right-to-buy schemes.

“Turnover levels remain low so whilst we keep a careful eye on the impact of high costs of living in London, this is not, at this time impacting on our ability to recruit or retain officers.”