JOIN US in our campaign to Back our Bobbies! We need our police back on our streets!
It is hard to miss the recent increase in street drinkers, beggars, drug taking and even dealing many of us have seen on a regular basis in Westminster.
At the same time, we have seen far fewer police officers patrolling our streets. There is clearly a connection between the rise in anti-social behaviour and lack of a police presence. An increasing number of local people have contacted us as local councillors to highlight their concerns.
Our police officers work incredibly hard and we know that the rank and file want to be out on the street protecting the public and ensuring we are safe. We know that many of our local police teams are concerned about the proposed changes and the policy to place them in response vehicles rather than on the street.
We remain concerned about the Metropolitan Police Service’s plan to merge Westminster police team with Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea into one Central West Police Borough Command Unit next month.
This new Unit will place less emphasis on community and neighbourhood policing. We are hugely concerned about a reduction of 225 police officers in our neighbourhoods – around 12% fewer than current police numbers across the three boroughs.
Your Conservative Councillors have been raising our shared concerns our concerns with our local police chiefs. Council Leader, Nickie Aiken, wrote to Commissioner Cressida Dick in the Autumn expressing her concerns. The Commissioner then joined Nickie on a walkabout through the streets of Westminster. The Commissioner understood our concerns. However, the situation hasn’t improved. Nickie wrote to Comissioner Dick again in January expressing her continuing concerns about the visible lack of police on our streets.
Says Cllr Aiken: “I’m tremendously proud of our local police officers who serve our neighbourhoods so brilliantly. But there aren’t enough of them. We have seen a real fall in the police presence across Westminster over the last couple of years. That vacuum has led to a major hike in anti-social behaviour including drug dealing, open drug taking, begging and street drinking.
“The police must take a tough stance when it comes to anti-social behaviour. Otherwise a small number of people will believe they can get away with such behaviour and that leads to increased criminal activity. Enough is enough. We must back our bobbies and ensure senior officers put more on our streets and task them to operate a zero-tolerance policy.”
We are asking our community partners, local people and businesses to support our efforts by sharing their own concerns about local police provision directly with those responsible - Sophie Linden, London’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, and Sir Stephen House, Deputy Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police.
We are calling on the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime to reverse her plans to cut the number of police officers on the streets of our city. If you support our campaign, please sign our petition below.
By working together, we can protect Westminster’s wonderful communities and neighbourhoods. We must ensure we have the police presence we need and deserve. Back our bobbies and get them back on the street!