Yesterday, in my role as Cabinet Member for Community Safety, I launched Croydon Council’s cross-party campaign to get more police officers on our streets.
Tackling crime and fear of crime is the Council’s top priority. Our local police do a great job and as a Council we work very closely with them. Together, we have made real progress over the last fifteen months, particularly in reducing knife crime and youth violence.
But our police simply don’t have sufficient resources. We have the fifth highest number of crimes committed of the 32 London boroughs (this isn’t quite as bad as it sounds – it is at least partly a consequence of us being the largest borough in London) but only the eighth highest number of police officers. We are a major commercial centre, London’s biggest retail centre outside the West End and a major transport hub, all of which give rise to a demand for more police. And we are a highly diverse borough with the inner London character of the north being masked by the relative affluence of the south. The current Metropolitan Police Resource Allocation Formula simply does not provide us with enough manpower to handle these challenges.
We will be making this case to the Mayor of London, the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) and the senior management of the Metropolitan Police and we are urging residents to show their support by signing our petition, which you can find here (or you can text MORE POLICE followed by your name, the first line of your address and your postcode to 60660).
Strong public support won't be enough on its own however - after all, every borough could probably produce a petition saying people want more police. We also have to convince the Mayor, the MPA and the senior management of the Met that the current system is unfair. The Council has therefore produced a detailed document to support our petition - if you'd like to see a copy, let me know.
I know from the thousands of residents I have met in person or who have returned one of my surveys that most people think tackling crime and the fear of crime is the single thing that would do most to make Croydon a better place to live. Getting more police on our streets will go a long way to achieving that objective. Get behind our campaign and help us make it happen – sign the petition and encourage your friends, family and neighbours to do the same.