Labour London Assembly Member John Biggs has warned of a further round of impending police cuts after the Mayor of London refused to rule out closing police contact points. The contact points were introduced after Boris Johnson closed three police stations in Tower Hamlets last year and cut neighbourhood policing teams from six dedicated officers per ward to just two.
When asked recently by Joanne McCartney AM whether the Mayor was planning on cutting the new contact points, Boris Johnson repeatedly refused to answer stating only that “I’m afraid I can’t give you the answer”. The Mayor did however add that “some contact points work better than others” and he was reviewing their use.
The Mayor’s comments follow recent indications from the Deputy Mayor for Policing Stephen Greenhalgh that local neighbourhood policing teams may also face further cuts. When asked at the latest Police and Crime Committee about the cuts to police teams Greenhalgh questioned whether “the absolute commitment of one police constable and one police community support officer for all wards appropriate?”
John Biggs AM, Labour London Assembly Member for City & East London, said:
“When the Mayor closed three London police stations in Tower Hamlets, reducing them to Contact Points, last year there was real concern that there were further cuts to come. Boris Johnson’s comments make that look significantly more likely.
“According to the latest figures, since the current Government came to power in 2010 Tower Hamlets has lost 234 police officers and PCSOs. Now Boris Johnson looks set to make further cuts to the police contact points people now rely on to report crime. The Mayor’s policing cuts are already having a real impact with less officers on our streets and fewer police stations to report crimes at. Further cuts and closures would push the police service to breaking point.”