Ruth Cadbury MP has accused the Government of failing to protect people locally from anti-social behaviour, as new analysis shows a huge fall in staffing for neighbourhood policing across the UK, including in London. This comes after more than 14 million people across the country had their lives blighted by graffiti, drug dealing, and other forms of anti-social behaviour last year.
Meanwhile the total number of neighbourhood police across the country, including in London has fallen. New statistics have shown that there’s been a reduction of over 4,000 officers in London in recent years, from 7,636 in 2015 to 2940 in 2022. Nationally, the total number of neighbourhood police officers and Community Support officers has fallen by 10,000 since 2015.
The London Mayor Sadiq Khan has invested an annual package of £37 million this year to tackle crime, which comes on top of over £1 billion in investment in policing over the past 5 years. However the Met Police continues to suffer from the cuts imposed by successive Governments over the past decade.
In response to these new figures Ruth Cadbury MP has backed by the call by Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper for a return to neighbourhood policing, with visible neighbourhood police hubs in all local areas backed by new neighbourhood prevention team made up of police, community support officers, youth workers and local authority staff. These teams would prioritise being visible on patrols, preventing crime before it happens and working with communities to address local problem. They would pursue serial perpetrators of ASB, as well as dealing with visible signs of disorder such as broken windows, graffiti and fly-tipping. These teams will also support victims of anti-social behaviour.
Speaking in response to these new figures Ruth Cadbury MP said,
‘‘I know from listening to people locally that anti-social behaviour is continuing to have a huge impact on so many people.
While we have seen some recent improvements such as the new dedicated police team for Hounslow High Street I know that we need to go much further to tackle anti-social behaviour. A decade of cuts to funding means the police locally still don’t have the funding they need to carry out regular foot patrol in high risk areas. Additionally, a decade of cuts to public services like schools and youth clubs mean that we’re still unable to tackle the root causes of anti-social behaviour and crime locally.
That’s why I’m backing the call for a return to visible neighbourhood policing, with a focus on anti-social behaviour.
I will continue to campaign to ensure we return to community policing on our streets and to also ensure our public services have the funding they need to protect residents locally.’’