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Ilford Recorder Column on Police Cuts

Local residents are justifiably angry and concerned at the rise in crime and burglary in Redbridge. Huge cuts by Conservative led governments since 2010 are now leading to a deteriorating police service for my constituents. 

On Wednesday Parliament debated the Police GrantThe Government proposed a flat cash settlement, meaning a cut of £100 million, the eighth consecutive year of real-term cuts in Home Office funding. In London, £700 million has been cut from the Met's budget, losing 2,495 officers and 3,261 Police Community Support Officers.

The Met has to find £370 million more savings by 2022. As a cost saving measure police stations have been closed, including four in Redbridge. Last year Havering, Barking and Dagenham, and Redbridge were merged into one of two so called Pathfinder Basic Command Units.

Despite strong criticisms and an initial significant reduction in performance, the Met now say that performance and response times have recently improved. As a result they now intend to extend the model all over London, so instead of 32 separate Boroughs there will be 12 BCUs. Tony Blair rightly said we should be “tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime”.

But under the Conservatives services that tackle the root causes of crime have been slashed. £22 million cut from London youth services since 2011 and 30 youth centres closed, losing at least 12,700 places. Crime has steadily risen across Britain for the last 4 years. This is a national problem that requires national solutions. 



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