|Tory Mayor's police cuts will make our streets less safe|
|Saturday, 20 August 2011 18:33|
Cuts to police numbers in Tooting will hit frontline services and make our streets less safe, Sadiq Khan MP has warned.
The Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) has admitted that it will have to cut 300 police sergeants from local police teams across London.
These cuts mean police Safer Neighbourhood Teams in Wandsworth, which play a vital role in keeping crime down, are due to lose at least 5 police sergeants this year, with some teams merged or moved away from the areas they currently patrol.
There are currently 8 teams in Tooting, covering Bedford Ward, Earlsfield Ward, Furzedown Ward, Graveney Ward, Nightingale Ward, Tooting Ward, Tooting Town Centre and Wandsworth Common Ward.
With their priorities set by local residents, they have had a big impact on tackling anti-social behavior, burglary, street robbery and car crime – crimes which often afflict specific neighborhoods, but that can be deterred by a dedicated local police presence.
Bigger cuts are already in the pipeline, with figures released by the MPA suggesting that across 1800 police officers will be cut across London in two years, an average of over 55 police officers per borough.
Plans are also being developed to reduce the number of public facing ‘front desks’ and their opening hours across the borough’s local police stations.
Tooting MP Sadiq Khan, who campaigned for the roll-out of police Safer Neighbourhood Teams, said, “These cuts to frontline policing will undoubtedly impact on public safety.
When I was first elected as Tooting's MP in 2005, I pledged to fight for more ‘bobbies on the beat’ and lower crime – a goal that was achieved with the rollout of the Safer Neighbourhood Teams.
“Residents know them by name, and see them out and about every day. They’ve been an excellent tool to improve community safety and relations between the police and local residents.
“They are also extremely popular with local residents who have seen how effective they are in tackling specific local problems.
“Crime has fallen dramatically since they were rolled out, demonstrating the success the teams have had.
“They need strengthening and supporting, not cutting.
“Residents who want to support my campaign to fight these cuts can sign my petition at bit.ly/NoSNTcuts.”
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