Mayor Quizzed Over Police Cuts

AM Fiona Twycross challenges cuts & 'sham' consultations

Boris Johnson was challenged today over cuts to the Metropolitan Police in Wandsworth. Mr Johnson and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner faced questions at City Hall from Londonwide Labour Assembly Member Fiona Twycross. Boris was questioned about cuts to frontline policing cover including cuts to police stations, police officers and the recent “sham” consultations that his deputy Stephen Greenhalgh has been holding across London.

The question and answer session comes at a time when the full extent of cuts to London’s emergency services has become clearer. In the past week the Mayor has confirmed which police and fire stations will be closed. A map outlining the extent of the cuts to emergency services across London has been compiled by Labour Group Leader Len Duvall AM.

The closures across the capital include: the loss of nine out of 32 A&E; cutting 12 fire stations, 18 fire engines and 560 fire-fighters; and the closure of 65 police front counters and stations.

The closures across Wandsworth include: the threat of St Heliers A&E closing so residents will need to go further to St Georges Tooting. Battersea Police Station and Putney Police Office have also been earmarked for closure.

Labour Londonwide Assembly Member Fiona Twycross said:
“Today I challenged Boris on his planned cuts to the Police. The Mayor has pledged to keep police officers at 32000 but they are now below 31000 which the Deputy Mayor for Policing Stephen Greenhalgh has previously described as a ‘doomsday scenario’. However you do the maths, the uniformed presence Londoners will see is going to go down. He is cutting too far, too fast and is hitting the frontline. On top of this he is stripping back our local Safer Neighbourhood Police Teams this will mean fewer locally based police officers and PCSOs across London. This looks like a return to ‘sector’ policing which was abandoned as it was ineffective.

"We already know that Wandsworth has lost 58 police officers in the last two years, but the Mayor’s plan confirms that the majority of London’s boroughs will have fewer police officers by 2015 than they did in 2010. All this is happening at a time when the London Fire Brigade and our Hospital Accident & Emergency Departments are also being cut back. This is further evidence that the Mayor and government are cutting too far, too fast and are hitting the frontline.”

January 16, 2013