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Nov 18 2012

Susan Says: Response to Champagne Phil on Policing

Dear Editor,

I’m oddly flattered that Cllr. Phillip O’Dell is writing to the papers asking me what I think about policing matters. He knows my passion for all things police-related, so I’m very happy to oblige him with a response.

Believe it or not, I value community engagement with the police as much as he claims he does; where we differ is on what we consider to be good engagement. My views on the failings of the previous incarnation of the HPCCG are well-known; I don’t think it offered good value for money in terms of either engagement or scrutiny. So I fail to see why it should have its funding restored without root and branch reform of its proposed operation and management taking place first of all.

Regarding other policing matters; at November’s Council meeting, I tabled a cooperative and practical amendment calling for more engagement from the police on important issues such as borough commander deployment and the new policing model, and had hoped it would be adopted cross-party. Cllr. O’Dell and his Labour colleagues voted against it, in favour of attacking the Mayor’s Office for Policing.

Our police do a fantastic job, and achieve excellent results – new figures show burglary is down 13% and robbery is down 6%. They deserve our support, and must also be open to scrutiny and engagement. If only their commitment was shared by Cllr. O’Dell, who as we all remember cut the funding and therefore the size of the Council-funded police team.

Yours,

Cllr. Susan Hall

Leader of the Conservative Group
Harrow Council

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