The independent London newspaper

It’s time to arrest dangerous cuts to our police force

08 June, 2017

A GLARING truth stands out following the London Bridge attack: police resources are being cut to the detriment of the safety of the public.

This is not a question of party politics, though Jeremy Corbyn has – justifiably in our opinion – made the most of it during his election campaign.

Nationally, 20,000 police officers have lost their jobs in the past few years – and, quite fallaciously, it was justified as a necessary “austerity” cut.

This clearly impacted on Camden, and loud complaints were made by local residents – complaints that were brushed aside, sometimes a little contemptuously, often with just enough spin to confuse the critics.

Fortunately, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has taken up the cudgels again.

This week his speech criticising the heavily cut police budget resonated, we are sure, with great swathes of the London electorate.

He lamented how there are plans to cut a further £400million from the London police budget.

It was a warning shot the government should heed.

But if Mrs May wins the election, unless she has had a change of heart following the attacks in Manchester and London which were, for her, politically damaging, there is every likelihood she will take little notice of the critics.

For years the government – and Mrs May in particular during her reign as home secretary – built up a bank of platitudes as to why it was possible to spend less money on staff and still retain a highly effective force.
Greater emphasis was to be put on “intelligence” data, for instance.

Hence, any thinning among the ranks of bobbies-on-the-beat wouldn’t be noticed.

That’s how the spin went.

Families still anxious about the fallout from the total closure of Hampstead station and the part closure of West Hampstead stations, please note.

If you live in that part of Camden and you need police help, well, all the “intelligence” information in the world won’t help you, you will have to wait for the police to arrive – from Kentish Town.

All enterprises – public or private – that want to cut their overheads, hack away at the costliest item, staff, first.

If the police need more “intelligence” where better can it come from than the bobby-on-the-beat?

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