Boris Johnson yesterday announced that 30 police transport teams are to be deployed at major transport hubs across the capital after three pilot teams successfully reduced crimes by more than a third.
The announcement was made during a visit to Bexleyheath by Mayor Johnson, Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy and Metropolitan Police Commander Rod Jarman.
The Mayor also confirmed that 11 inner London borough-based policing teams, introduced by former Mayor Ken Livingstone, will be made permanent after a 13.6 fall in bus related crime in boroughs where the teams operate.
Speaking to journalists yesterday the Mayor said the pilot teams “have had great initial success, cutting the number of robberies by over a third where they have operated, and I am now working with the Metropolitan police and TfL to get them rolled to other boroughs where I hope they will have an equally impressive impact.”
The teams are funded jointly by the Met and Transport for London. According to figures issued by City Hall the costs for the new teams will be £11.3m with the force providing £2.1m of this sum.
Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy said the success of the teams had seen “pensioners using the buses again and young people behaving with more respect across the bus network.”
The announcement came as members of the London Assembly claimed that Johnson’s vow to freeze the GLA’s council tax precept is adding “considerable financial pressure” to functional bodies including the Metropolitan Police Authority and Transport for London.
John Biggs AM, Chair of the Budget and Performance Committee, said: “Value for money is a glib phrase, but a genuine drive towards greater value for money needs positive direction as to how the money should be applied in order to achieve a clear set of outcomes. Not only will this help us – and the wider world – to judge progress but it will also help the Mayor’s team to judge their own success and maintain direction.”
The Committee says it has “concerns that a lack of clear guidance on the priorities and direction of the new administration is causing uncertainty and could mean that the GLA group will have to ‘retro-fit’ business plans to budgets.”
The Mayor also announced that London’s existing Safer Transport teams will be boosted by an additional seven officers.