Local police teams are failing to respond to Londoners within the promised 24 hour deadline according to research published the Liberal Democrat group on the London Assembly.
The Metropolitan Police promise that Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs) “will respond to every message directed to us within 24 hours.”
The Liberal Democrats say this target was repeatedly breached when it contacted SNTs in October.
Researchers left voice messages for 18 SNTs, 6 of which failed to call back. Of 32 SNTs contacted by email, more half failed to respond. A phone number published on the Met website for one local team didn’t work while numbers for 2 further teams lacked the ability for callers to leave messages.
Lib Dem Assembly leader Caroline Pidgeon has written to the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime and the Metropolitan Police seeking “clear assurances” that all phone numbers will work and response targets will be complied with.
She says: “Londoners deserve a consistent level of service from SNTs across the whole of London. Accessible and well run SNTs are central to ensuring people feel safe and have the confidence to immediately report crime and anti-social behavior in their area.”
“At present too many members of the public are being let down by a service that is quite frankly nowhere near as accessible as it should be. It should be really quick and easy for the public to contact their SNT and they should get a response within 24 hours. Yet in practice we have found that we didn’t get a reply from more than half of the teams we emailed.”
Ms Pidgeon wants the Met to consider developing an app or mobile version of its website to make it “quicker and easier” for smartphone users to contact their SNT.