Writing about policing in London (22 October), Labour’s Navin Shah and Cllr. David Perry tried to have their cake and eat it. Their letters contained words like “could” and “proposed” – highlighting that decisions on police funding are yet to be made – but also alleged that certain choices are already set in stone. Indeed, Cllr. Perry wrote that all PCSOs will be scrapped “at the very least”, and the Council motion he referred to said similar – ignoring that the Metropolitan Police is actually considering three different models for PCSOs. Therefore, calling the motion “scaremongering” is quite accurate, as it gave a false impression about what options are on the table.
The Metropolitan Police are pondering a range of options as part of a programme called MET Change 2 – which Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) say aims to address funding challenges “while keeping people in London safe and reducing crime”. The Commissioner himself has said that “we can transform policing to meet those challenges, and yes, get even better at doing our job”. It is vital our police have sufficient resources – London is a growing city with unique challenges – but speculation shouldn’t get in the way of fact; the only fact at the moment being that no funding decisions have been made.
Of course, Navin Shah and Cllr. Perry are surprising envoys on law and order matters, having both voted to cut the Council-funded police team for Harrow town centre. Labour have also cut the money to lock parks, cut the dedicated funding for Neighbourhood Champions, and did far less to support the ‘Weeks of Action’ with our local police than they should have. So perhaps instead of speculating, they should concentrate on reversing their own poor decisions instead?
Cllr. Susan Hall
Conservative Group Leader