Talking to hundreds of residents a month, one of the key issues that comes up frequently is the fear of crime. Although crime has fallen nationally, it appears to be rising locally (comparative figures aren’t readily available). This is unacceptable, and the fear that it has created has caused many more vulnerable residents to question whether they can continue to live in Hampstead.
I’ve written before about Camden Conservatives’ proposal to hire more police officers. Under the Metropolitan Police’s ‘buy one get one free’ match funding scheme, for every additional Metropolitan Police officer that Camden funds, the Greater London Authority will fund another. This means Camden’s resources go twice as far, and we can keep our streets safe affordably.
That’s why I’ve proposed the following motion for the next full Council meeting on 20th November:
This Council resolves to put tackling crime and reassuring the public at the top of its agenda.
This Council notes that the ONS Crime Survey for England & Wales has shown a 9% fall in crime in the last year, but also notes that based on police recorded crime figures and concerns expressed by the public, crime levels in Camden appear to have remained high, with moped-enabled offences being particularly noted.
This Council notes that the Metropolitan Police inspector for Camden’s Neighbourhood Teams tweeted on 3rd November that “More cops = fewer crimes”. Judging by their retweets, this view is further endorsed by the Frognal & Fitzjohns and Hampstead Town SNTs.
This Council notes that since April 2015, the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) has run the ‘MetPatrol Plus’ match-funding scheme under Section 92 of the Police Act 1996, under which councils can ‘buy one, get one free’ on hiring additional police officers.
This Council notes that additional police officers can thus be hired at half the cost they would be otherwise, and the Council’s resources stretch twice as far when put into bolstering front-line policing.
This Council further notes that dedicated ward officers are reserved for in-community duties, and may not be redeployed outside the borough except for large events, ensuring that Camden receives the benefit of their protection.
This Council notes that the scheme has been used in Camden Town and in Holborn, but notes that as criminals become more mobile, the case for additional resources in other areas has become stronger.
This Council regretfully notes that the administration’s long held position of attacking necessary central government savings is considerably weakened by the £2.5 million damages paid by the Council for administrative errors, money that could have been better spent in protecting our communities.
This Council therefore commits to using this scheme so that the Metropolitan Police can hire an additional Safer Neighbourhood Team police officer for each ward in the borough.
For more about my campaign to keep our streets safe, click here.