Following the Mayor of London’s announcement earlier this month about the future of policing in London, spare a thought for just how valuable our Safer Neighbourhood Teams were while they lasted.
In Boris’s new Local Policing Model, wards will have one dedicated PC and one PCSO, with a named sergeant. Currently, each SNT has three PCSOs, two PCs and one sergeant. Boris says he believes that it’s “bobbies before buildings” but as we can see, this obviously isn’t the case when it comes to protecting local SNTs.
The Mayor is cutting sergeants as well as PCSOs, both of which will have a detrimental effect on public confidence. The ethnic mix of PCSOs reflects London’s diversity. The loss of sergeants will see the Met having the lowest supervisory ratios in the country.
This is a fundamental shift away from Neighbourhood Policing to Response Policing, the result of which will be less community engagement, a lack of local knowledge and severely overstretched staff.
The Metropolitan Police’s Safer Neighbourhood Teams work hard across the capital to build confidence in their communities and reduce crime by working with local residents. I fear this will go to waste and we are seeing the end of community policing, which has been the key to tackling anti-social behaviour, reducing crime levels and working with local communities to be effective in fighting crime.
This blog has been published on the BrentfordTW8.com web site.