What are the Mayor’s Plans?
The Mayor of London’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) has issued a challenge to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS):
20% Cut in 7 priority Crimes; 20% Boost in public confidence; 20% Reduction in Spend (20/20/20)
The MPS needs to save £500m by 2015.
The documents propose significant changes and reform in London’s policing, including:
– Flatter structure with more police constables and fewer supervisors and managers;
Reduced running costs and estate cut from c500 buildings to 300 buildings;
– More officers in the boroughs – visible, accessible, accountable, reconnecting police & public in intelligent ways
– Local Policing Model is key – dedicated borough commander, inspector led teams in Local Police Areas (clusters of wards);
– New modes of public access – online, phone, “Police come to us”. More people are now connecting by 101 and 999, and online.
What changes might we see on the front line?
- Reduced Safer Neighbourhood Teams. Inspector-led teams will work in Local Police Areas (clusters of wards). Every Ward will have a named sergeant and there will be one dedicated police constable and one PCSO per ward.
- Southwark police numbers will remain broadly the same and there will be a general team of officers flexibly deployed across the borough – proactive squads and tasking teams;
- Closed front counters at 65 police stations across London, including East Dulwich. Some boroughs will only have one front counter;
- Opening of new ‘contact points’ in public and other buildings such as council offices, supermarkets and post offices. The location of these is unknown at this stage.
Nothing will be decided until the consultation is complete.
What police stations are closing and where will the police officers be based?
The draft Estate Strategy (p.38-42) lists 65 police front counters proposed for closure.
Locally the front closures proposed for closure are: Camberwell; East Dulwich; Gypsy Hill; Sydenham and South Norwood.
This could mean a massive black hole in the Dulwich area with no police front counters nearby to report crime.
We don’t yet know where Safer Neighbourhood Teams and front line police will be based. The local Southwark borough commander assured the Dulwich Community Council in November that the Seeley Drive office in Dulwich will be retained as a base.
Local politicians and the Safer Neighbourhood Panels (SNP) have been seeking assurances from the Mayor and the Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police that no front counter will be closed until an alternative facility has been opened.
How can we have our say in the consultation?
The consultation on the Draft Police and Crime Plan and the Estate Strategy has now started and the first public consultations took place on Wednesday 9 January in Lambeth and Southwark.
Dulwich residents, Safer Neighbourhood Panels (SNP) and local politicians attended the Southwark Consultation on 9 January. Some of the issues raised were:
– The geographical “black hole” in Dulwich with no nearby police stations and no confirmed local bases for officers;
– Concern about loss of efficiency through police officers wasting time criss-crossing boroughs to deal with incidents far away from their bases;
– Provision of police vehicles to expedite incident attendance;
– There will be a significant management overhead in bedding down the reformed system and reducing management numbers may not be feasible;
– Concerns about the viability of the 1PC + 1PCSO model in the reformed SNTs;
– The quality of police service to the public, and particularly services to victims of crime.
The consultation runs until 6 March 2013 and there will be public meetings in every London borough. If you would like to attend a meeting see http://www.london.gov.uk/events/policing-and-crime-consultation-events?source=mopac for further details.
You can feed in your views via an online survey, or you can write to, or email the Mayor:
c/o Siobhan Coldwell
Head of Strategy
Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime
10 Dean Farrar Street
London, SW1H 0NY
The online questionnaire limits responses to 150 words per question, and also contains a yes/no question about whether the focus should be on maintaining police numbers or keeping police buildings.
It is important that we do all respond to it
Front counters at the following police stations in Southwark and adjoining boroughs are proposed for closure:
PURLEY, WHYTECLIFFE ROAD SOUTH 9 & 11
KENLEY POLICE STATION
ADDINGTON POLICE STATION
NORBURY POLICE STATION
SOUTH NORWOOD POLICE STATION
CAVENDISH ROAD POLICE STATION
CLAPHAM POLICE STATION
GIPSY HILL POLICE STATION
BROCKLEY POLICE STATION
SYDENHAM POLICE STATION
CAMBERWELL POLICE STATION
EAST DULWICH POLICE STATION (NEW)
ROTHERHITHE POLICE STATION