Labour says a recent Met police survey revealing almost half of Londoners believe there’s no visible police presence in their area vindicates their opposition to changes in how officers are deployed.
Changes introduced in 2013 reduced the number of officers assigned to local Safer Neighbourhood Teams from one Sergeant, two PCs and three PCSOs to just one dedicated PC and PCSO.
According to the Met’s Confidence Comparator, just 53% of Londoners feel the force has a visible policing presence in their neighbourhood.
The score varies between boroughs and in some areas is as low as 31%.
Last year Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said the balance of the teams had “gone the wrong way” and is being reviewed. He suggested that some wards could see officer numbers boosted but told Assembly Members that any additional officers would have to come from existing borough allocations.
Mayor Boris Johnson has previously conceded that some aspects of the new local policing model needed to “be improved”.
Joanne McCartney AM, Labour’s London Assembly Crime Spokesperson, says the survey’s results suggest the Mayor will miss his goal of boosting confidence in the police by 20% by the end of his term.
She commented: “With 4,333 fewer uniformed officers on our streets since the Government came to power it’s no surprise that many Londoners do not feel they have a visible police presence in their area.
“It’s now very likely that the Mayor will miss his target to increase public confidence by 20% and it’s not hard to see why.
“The cuts to police numbers and the Mayor’s decision to dismantle neighbourhood policing teams have clearly been noticed by the public and show that we need to see more officers back on the beat in local neighbourhoods.”