#SaveOurStations and Tory police cuts update

Throughout our time as your local councillors, we have been working with our local Safety Neighbourhood Team on various issues across the ward. This has included specific work surrounding ASB on the Peabody estate and on issues relating to more general concerns from residents, from burglaries to speeding, for example.

Community speed watch with the police and residents on Lancaster Avenue

In our time as Thurlow Park’s Labour councillors, we have witnessed Conservative cuts to the Met police budget that have had direct repercussions here in Lambeth. Serious violence has started to rise, police counters have all closed except for a single station in Brixton, neighbourhood policing is under threat.

Lambeth police will likely merge with Southwark police to form one new ‘Borough Command Unit’ with a single Commander, 5 superintendents straddling the two boroughs, and approximately 1400 officers. Many of you have raised this with us, especially your concerns about knife crime and increasing anti-social behaviour.

As a measure to try and help our local police forces the Mayor of London is being forced to increase Lambeth residents’ council tax by £14.20 (band D) to plug a portion of the huge funding gap: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/mayor-proposes-27p-per-week-council-tax-increase

Further measures set out by the Mayor of London for the coming financial year include:

  • £20m to pay for long awaited 2% pay rises for hard working police officers who are otherwise struggling to stay living in London as rents and the cost of living rise faster than wages
  • £13.9m to pay for recruitment to maintain staff numbers
  • £15m to tackle knife/youth violence – Cabinet Lead Mohammed Seedat will meet MOPAC to decide how this money is used in Lambeth

As your local cllrs we will continue to work with our Safety Neighbourhood Team to support their efforts in the ward and keep people safe. We supported the Lambeth Labour #SaveOurStations campaign and helped to deliver leaflets in the ward as well as support the online petition.

As a result of our campaign in Lambeth and other campaigns across London, the Mayor of London has promised 2 dedicated neighbourhood police officers per ward, while the Deputy Mayor for policing has acknowledged the importance of neighbourhood policing and as a result new ‘contact sessions’ in every ward means police will be engaging with residents more directly. This is very welcome and we have already seen #cuppawithacopper contact sessions begin. Our team in Thurlow Park advertise their contact sessions here.

As your local councillors, we will continue to attend the Safer Neighbourhood Ward panels as it even more essential to support our local neighbourhood policing teams as they try to mitigate the effects of cuts to their service. We have started monthly ASB and community safety surgeries on the Peabody Estate at 10.30am on the last Monday of the month and work closely with Peabody’s community safety team. We helped to roll out Smart Water to tackle rising burglary rates and support residents to run neighbourhood watches.

We want to reassure residents that despite cuts, we continue to work to ensure all parts of the ward are included in police patrols and we meet with officers to highlight areas of concern or which need greater attention.

Map showing where the Thurlow Park safer neighbourhood team patrolled on 8th February

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