Opening the door to cuts

Despite receiving assurances from the Commissioner of Police, Mayor of London Boris Johnson has decided to step in with his own version of policing for the future.

He now wants to allow local police forces to reduce their Safer Neighbourhood Teams. Every ward in London is currently covered by a fixed model of one police sergeant, two constables and three community support officers. But Boris Johnson said this week that he would like supposedly “safer wards” to have greater “flexibility” to change the teams.

Arguing that it should be up to local police to decide whether they need the teams, the Mayor told London Assembly members: “It would be crazy for me to order them to have a one size fits all approach”.

Neighbourhood policing in London has been one of the greatest successes of the past decade and the model has worked well. The Mayor has already said he will cut police officer numbers – it’s worrying that the model which has served Islington for the last five years now appears to be under threat. By opening the door to changing the teams the Mayor is giving the green light for them to be cut. – Jennette Arnold, London Assembly Member for North East London, City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, SE1.