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Cut to police funding threatens safer neighbourhood team

February 16, 2011

Cally police team has a sergeant, 2 constables and 3 community support officers dedicated to patrolling our ward

The Labour leadership of Islington Council is urging members of the public to help keep the dedicated police teams for our neighbourhoods. Tory Mayor, Boris Johnson, has threatened to directly pass-on government spending cuts by reducing the numbers of police who exclusively serve the Borough’s 16 Wards.

A plan is being considered by the top brass in the Borough police command which will cut the number of teams and extend their geographic responsibility. One option has been discussed with Councillors and members of the Safer Neighbourhood Panels that would create a large area west of Cally Road stretching all the way from Kings Cross to Nags Head. This would cover much of Holloway and Caledonian Wards.

The Labour Councillors for both these Wards have rejected this option and called on the Met Police to safeguard neighbourhood police teams based on the current ward geographies.

Islington Council has robustly lobbied City Hall and the Met Police Commissioner. We now believe a “fallback” scheme has been proposed by the Borough Command. This would keep the 16 neighbourhood teams but make a saving by reducing the number of Sergeants in charge of the teams.

Paul Convery says “We are lobbying hard to stop the amalgamation of neighbourhood police teams and to retain Caledonian’s dedicated team. The Met Police faces a similar problem to our own Council – faced with savage cuts from the Tory-led Government. But we think the Met should protect frontline policing. So, even the compromise plan has its weakness. Sergeants are very definitely part of the frontline patrol presence and losing any of these highly experienced officers would represent a cut in neighbourhood policing.”

As part of the Met’s budget review, a public consultation about neighbourhood policing is underway. The closing date for responses is 25th February. We urge the public to participate. Go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DPJ68VS

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