In Prime Minister's Questions today I asked the Prime Minister about continuing support and investment in police numbers and Safer Neighbourhood Teams. As I said in my question earlier "high visability police patrols are the public's number one priority for reassurance and crime prevention." I am therefore highly concerned that the rise of police numbers in London by 6,500 over the last few years appears to be going into reverse with Mayor of London Boris Johnson's Draft budget implying a cut of 455 officers over his time in Office.
These planned cuts to the operational budgets of the Metropolitan Police Commanders - described as 'efficiency savings' by the Mayor's office - could mean real cuts to street policing even though the Mayor ran on a platform of putting the fight against crime at the heart of his mayoralty. But it's no good talking tough on crime if when it comes to the crunch you squeeze the Met so it becomes harder for the police to do their jobs.
We need to maintain investment and support for police numbers and our much valued Safer Neighbourhood Teams precisely so we can continue to build on the progress of the last few years and turn our communities and neighbourhoods into better places to live.