Cuts to police funding has led to severe under-staffing amongst Wandsworth’s Safer Neighbourhood Teams. The Tory-led Government’s 20 per cent cuts to policing go too far too fast and are already having a damaging impact on police forces here in Wandsworth, and across the country. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has estimated that these front-loaded cuts will lead to the loss of over 16,000 police officers over the next 4 years.
Wandsworth Labour councillors are concerned by the resultant lack of neighbourhood policing, and the effect this will have on local neighbourhood safety. Despite the duty for Safer Neighbourhood Teams to be represented by a minimum team of 6 for an average ward – comprising of 1 Sergeant, 2 PCs and 3 PCSOs – a majority in Wandsworth fall well short of this level.
Cuts to the police have meant that wards like Tooting are represented by only 2 police officers, and no PCSOs – despite the fact Tooting presents higher crime rates when compared to other areas with comparatively better police representation. The stretch on local policing is exacerbated by the fact that many personnel are forced to serve two neighbourhoods concurrently. According to police reports, this affects as many as 10 wards.
Cllr Leonie Cooper London Assembly candidate for Merton and Wandsworth said, “As Mayor, Boris Johnson has completely failed to stand up for Londoners and police numbers have plummeted. Even worse than Tooting, Furzedown ward only has 1 officer – the Sergeant. This is a disgrace. In May, Labour will reverse the Tory Mayor’s cuts to community policing, supporting all Safer Neighbourhood Teams across London. This would reverse this worrying shortage in Wandsworth, and help keep our streets safe.”
- Boris Johnson has cut 1,700 police officers across London during the last 2 years.
- More than 10,000 police officers in England and Wales are to be cut over the next two years.
- The number of police dealing with 999 emergencies has fallen by more than 5,000 since the last general election.
- Now, after years of declining crime rates under Labour, the latest British Crime Survey figures showed personal crime – including theft, robbery and violence – has gone up by 11% since last year, the steepest rise for more than a decade.