‘Keep our community police on our doorstep’

A POLICING review should not accept a plan for community officers to be redeployed to other wards with higher crime rates, according to the borough’s council leader.

A Metropolitan Police review into safer neighbourhood teams (SNTs) has been set up to look at how to bring down costs and increase effectiveness.

Newly appointed borough commander Det Chief Supt Sue Williams told the Recorder last month she wanted to give SNTs “a more flexible approach”, allowing them to be redeployed to “problem areas”.

But as part of Redbridge Council’s response to the police review, which will be fed to individual boroughs to help shape their policing strategy, council leader Cllr Keith Prince has voiced unease at some of the proposals on the table.

He said: “I’m not keen on redeployment because if there’s an issue, that is for the police force to deal with.

“Safer neighbourhood teams are there to liaise with local people and have a constant presence in every area of the borough.”

Each of the borough’s 21 wards is covered by its own SNT, each with one sergeant, two police constables and three police community support officers (PCSOs)

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Loxford SNT has an extra three PCSOs.

SNTs were introduced by the Labour government in 2005.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Shoaib Patel, cabinet member for environment and community safety, said: “We need to make it clear that we accept the need for some degree of flexibility, but what we don’t want to see is any reduction of resources for SNTs in the borough.

“We believe the current system means all wards get equal resources.”

The review is looking at where SNTs are based, what their structures are, what the teams do and if they are meeting demand.

Police chief Mrs Williams has pledged to keep SNTs on every ward in the borough.

You can give your views on SNTs until January 21 by logging on to www.keysurvey.co.uk/survey/339166/19e4.