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.

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