Letter to the Editor: Police station closures mean more officers
8:00am Saturday 19th January 2013 in Police Station Closures
By Richard Tracey
I fully support the Mayor's new policing plan and targets which include reducing burglary by 20 per cent, increasing public confidence by 20 per cent, and increasing compliance with community sentences by 20 per cent.
We will see 2000 more police officers in our wards. Indeed Merton will have 49 more officers in Safer Neighbourhood Teams by 2015 and Wandsworth will have 79.
The last Government left us with a huge deficit so difficult decisions have had to be made.
However, most police buildings due to close never provided public access. And the majority of Londoners now contact police by phone or internet; so stations now only see on average five crime reports a day.
Re-thinking how the public access police face-to-face is long overdue. Police stations were often uninviting, half empty, old buildings with victims waiting in line behind people filling out lost property forms.
Taking the form filling function out of front counters into post offices is a constructive step; as is the aim to actually increase front counter provision in every borough.
Richard Tracey AM (Conservative) is the London Assembly Member for Merton and Wandsworth
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