Feb 13 2013

Gareth Says: Local Police Cuts; PM Challenged

gareth_thomas_headshotLabour & Co-op MP Gareth Thomas today challenged David Cameron during Prime Minister’s Question Time to explain the loss of 4,000 frontline police officers in London’s boroughs since the Conservative-led government came to power, including the loss of 100 officers from Harrow; and the drop in the number of crimes solved across London.

A Freedom of Information Act request revealed that 4,000 fewer police staff were in place by April 2012 compared to March 2010 – a period which saw major riots take place across London and growing concern about gang crime.

The number of police officers and community police officers across London reduced from 25,036 on 31st March 2010 to just 20,951 on 8th April 2012; a 16% drop including a reduction of over 2,000 police officers and over 2,000 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).

In Harrow, the number of Police Officers and PCSOs reduced by 100 – a drop of nearly 20% – between March 2010 and April 2012. The Mayor’s own figures predict the number of Police Officers alone in Harrow will have reduced by 17 officers by 2015. The Mayor has not published borough figures for the expected number of PCSOs by 2015 but given that there is expected to be a further 1,100 cut across London by 2015 there is sure to be fewer officers on Harrow’s streets.

The number of crimes solved in London has dropped by 22,500 and the percentage of crimes solved has dropped to 21%. The Crown Prosecution Service in London has 18% fewer barristers and solicitors to lead crime prosecutors.

Gareth Thomas MP said: “David Cameron and Boris Johnson have claimed, using a choice of statistics which characters from the Thick of It would have been proud of, that the number of police officers in London is increasing. From the Metropolitan Police’s own figures we know this just isn’t true – Harrow has 100 fewer police officers than when Cameron came into office. Worryingly too the percentage of crimes being solved is rapidly decreasing. It’s time the Conservatives came clean with Harrow residents and explained why they’ve broken their promise to increase neighbourhood policing.”

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