On September the 29th the Metropolitan Police Management Board was due to take a decision on the future of PCSOs in the capital. Since 2010 Boris Johnson has presided over harrowing cuts to London’s Met seeing 2,443 police officers and 3,170 PCSOs vanish from our streets. The impact is starting to show with a rise in violent crime of 24 per cent in the last 12 months.
The options facing the board are as follows:
- Continue as currently with no change
- Axe all but one PCSO per ward (leaving 629)
- Axe all neighbourhood PCSOs (1,017 posts)
The implications of the proposed changes to London’s policing are incredibly serious, but the London Assembly Labour Group has been fighting the cuts from the start and in this case managed to push the deciding meeting back to December. This push back has provided campaigners against the proposals with extra time to build support. You can support the campaign here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-neighbourhood-policing-in-london.
Ivana Bartoletti, GLA candidate for Havering & Redbridge commented: “This [push back] gives us time to continue to campaign against the Met’s attempt to scrap PCSOs by stealth”
Jon Cruddas commented: “Our PCSOs do a sterling job in Dagenham & Rainham, and I know that they are a valued part of the Met and local communities across London. The government has implemented a £600m cut to the Met’s budget, so it is inevitable that tough decisions will have to be made. However we need to make sure that potentially damaging cuts are not just ushered in through the back door; Labour Group Assembly Members are currently campaigning to ensure that a decision cannot be implemented without meaningful consultation with London’s communities, and I fully support this.”
You can join the campaign by signing the petition here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-neighbourhood-policing-in-london. Jon Cruddas, Ivanna Bartoletti and the London Assembly Labour Group are all urging people to sign the petition and forward it onto friends. The PCSOs play a vital role in keeping our communities safe, so it is important that all possible avenues are explored, and a full public consultation is run across local communities in London before cuts are implemented.