LESS POLICE BASES – MORE DEDICATED WARD OFFICERS
The closure of police stations, bases, and offices across London will mean more dedicated ward officers in every community, says a consultation document on the issue.
These officers will be based closer to their wards and equipped to work and engage with the public on the go and at notified times and places, and one 24/7 front counter in every borough.
“It is because we know from recent surveys that Londoners value and prioritise local neighbourhood policing that we are diverting resources from poorly used and expensive to run facilities to support the front line” says the consultation document..
“The local connection that new dedicated ward officers will give us will allow us to close the failed contact points, and expensive-to-run safer neighbourhood bases which will be replaced with hubs much closer to the communities they police.
“The number of dedicated ward officers is being increased, and new technology will make them more efficient and effective as well as – crucially – more accessible.
“The introduction of new online systems, individual ward webpages and social media for officers means that people will be able to follow and engage with MPS activity in an unprecedented way.
“And for those who are not online the traditional engagement through ward panels, safer neighbourhood boards and other formal structures will continue and be improved.
“No change is entirely easy, or universally popular, but the totality of the offer to the public in this document represents a necessary and positive change for London.
“We will always prioritise better equipped, mobile front line officers over expensive, underused buildings.”
In a foreword to the document Sophie Linden, deputy mayor for policing and crime Cressida Dick, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service say: “Only by diverting resources from places where they are no longer needed or used can we protect the front line in this way and deliver the greatest bang for Londoners’ buck.
“We can have more impact on keeping people safe if we mobilise communities and involve local people in improving public safety and preventing crime.
“That means improving the way we engage with London’s communities and changing the ways people can access our services to meet changes in the public’s expectations.”