Labour Wins Cross-Party Agreement On London Police Funding

Wandsworth Tories  joined with the Labour Group at a Special Council meeting last week to ask the Mayor of London and the Government to look again at police funding for London. The following motion was agreed by both parties:

“This Council notes:-

(a) the successful implementation of Safer Neighbourhood Teams across Wandsworth;

 (b) that Police numbers have been the subject of much political debate, with both the majority party and the minority party supporting full strength Safer Neighbourhood Teams, and adequate Metropolitan Police being allocated to the Borough;

 (c) the Metropolitan Police’s settlement under the Comprehensive Spending Review was very tight thanks to the financial conditions in response to which the former Commissioner was forced to suspend recruitment;

(d) that on the night of 8th August 2011 there were insufficient officers stationed in the Borough to maintain order, leading to uncontrolled crime and disorder for several hours in the Clapham Junction area, and further notes that any further reduction in police numbers will give comfort to criminals, and reduce local ability to cope with any further disturbances;

(e) that in what was a rapidly changing situation with disorders across the entire capital, the Metropolitan Police Service took difficult operational decisions and, when they were able to, deployed additional resources to restore order across the Borough; and

(f) that although Police numbers are important there are many other factors that are also important – for example, numbers of officers trained to appropriate standards to cope with widespread public disorder, the accuracy of intelligence and effective managerial deployment of a finite resource;

This Council therefore:-

(i) deplores the widespread criminality of 8th August, and supports the Police and the criminal justice agencies in ensuring swift and appropriate punishment;

 (ii) calls on the Mayor of London to rethink the proposals for reduction in the Metropolitan Police budget, and supports the Mayor of London in asking the Government relook at the issue of Police numbers, but recognises the Government would need to redirect spending from elsewhere to support the greater level of need in the capital;

 iii) calls for more local Police to receive training in dealing with riots and street disorder, to ensure the events of the 8th August are not repeated, and that law-abiding local citizens and businesses can remain safe; and

iv) commits itself to an energetic and methodical approach to rebuilding in this post disorder period in order that business and local residents are fully supported , and the statutory agencies reflect , learn and ensure that their policies and programmes address both the short and long-term implications of the disorder.”

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