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View from the House: Let’s cut crime, not police resources

PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 October 2017

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Crime and policing have moved up the list of issues people raise with me.

During the past two years burglary, robbery and violent crime have risen sharply in our community.

Although recorded offences for drugs have fallen, I share residents’ concerns about the extent to which some people feel they have licence to openly smoke drugs on our streets and in our parks.

These concerns were well understood by our new Borough Commander, Jason Gwillim, when I met him last week.

Budget cuts present him – and other borough commanders across London – with a serious challenge. Since 2010, the government have cut £600million from the Metropolitan Police and cuts of a further £400m are to follow.

We are seeing the impact.

London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan has put extra neighbourhood police officers in place in every part of our borough, but he is swimming against the tide. Barkingside police station is set to close because the Met simply can’t afford to keep it in these circumstances.

Not only do cuts undermine crime prevention, they are also hampering our counter-terrorism efforts. Community police are an essential part of intelligence gathering that enabled our security services to foil the vast majority of terror plots planned on home soil during the past year. The dreadful attacks in London Bridge, Westminster and Manchester are a painful reminder of what happens when just a few people are able to slip through the net.

Cuts have consequences. Let’s cut crime, not the police.

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