Keeping the public safe should be the first priority of every public official. Among other duties, I am Camden’s shadow cabinet member responsible for community safety, including policing, and that means it falls to me to hold Camden Council to account.
Over the past seven years, crime has fallen steadily nationally and is now a third less than it was in 2010. But crime locally has remained high, and residents are concerned for the first time in years about their safety in our community. This has especially been the case with moped muggers.
This is unacceptable, and I am dedicated to finding ways to increase the police presence, tackle crime and anti-social behaviour, and reassure residents so they can go about their lives without fear.
1. Hire more neighbourhood police
While the number of police across London is about 1,000 more than it was a decade ago, the number of neighbourhood police has fallen. To keep our streets safe and give local residents’ peace of mind, I am committed to Camden hiring more police officers through the Met’s ‘buy one, get one free’ match funding scheme.
Under this scheme, for every extra police officer funded by Camden, the Greater London Authority will pay for another. This would make it affordable to put 18 new neighbourhood police – one for each of Camden’s wards – back on the streets to keep our residents safe.
2. Reverse the police merger with Islington
Camden and Islington borough police commands were merged together by Sadiq Khan in early 2017. This was intended to be a trial ‘pathfinder’, which could be reversed if its targets weren’t met. I have pushed Camden, City Hall, and the Met to publish the targets it would use to assess success, but they’ve refused to do so.
This suggests that the pathfinder can only be judged a success using cherrypicked statistics after the event: corroborating residents’ impressions that the police are now more remote. By reversing the merger, we can bring policing closer to the public and ensure Camden residents’ priorities are the police’s.
3. Open a police base in Hampstead
Hampstead Conservatives are also committed to finding ways to open a new police base in Hampstead. We’ve been liaising with the Royal Free Hospital, which has offered the Met its premises to open a new police base in the hospital. This would allow our Safer Neighbourhood Team to be based in Hampstead instead of on Fortune Green Road: potentially saving several hours of police time a week.
News about this campaign
- 8 August 2018: Oliver gets Sadiq Khan officially reprimanded for passing the buck on crime
- 8 June 2018: Squatting at Maison Blanc shows law has to change
- 15 December 2017: Fire response times in Hampstead are getting better, not worse
- 12 November 2017: Oliver proposes motion to put more police on the beat
- 22 July 2017: Lies, damned lies, and crime statistics
- 17 July 2017: Occupation of the White Horse shows need for action on squatters
- 23 May 2017: Manchester stands tall
- 2 May 2017: How to make Diane Abbott’s sums on police costs add up
- 26 April 2017: Speeches to Camden Council against anti-Semitism in Israel debate and on university campuses
- 27 January 2017: Police merger cannot be a success without targets
- 16 December 2016: Neo-Nazi graffiti in Hampstead demonstrates need for vigilance
- 1 November 2016: Police must investigate violence at UCL immediately
- 17 February 2016: Another attack shows more police are needed in Hampstead
- 23 January 2016: Keeping Camden clean, safe, and hate-free
- 25 November 2015: Police get £900m funding boost despite Labour’s demand to cut police by 10%
- 15 November 2015: Liberté, égalité, fraternité
- 17 October 2015: Oliver joins Walk for Freedom to rally against modern slavery
- 9 October 2015: Council-owned Liddell Road industrial estate occupied by squatters