Hackney,
12
October
2015
|
14:00
Europe/London

Campaign launched to return 100 police officers to Hackney

100policecampaignlogo.jpg

Hackney Council has launched a campaign calling for the return of 100 police officers to the borough.

Over the past five years the Met Police has taken 170 officers across a range of roles. In 2010 there were 770 allocated to the borough, compared with about 600 today.

This 22% cut is by far the largest when compared to equivalent boroughs and now, for the first time in many years, certain types of crimes are rising, particularly offences of violence and theft. The fear of crime is also rising.

Overall crime in the borough has fallen by 34.7% since 2002, equating to 13,000 fewer victims. However, the 2014/15 crime statistics show that this long-term reduction in crime is at risk. There was a 26% increase in Violence with Injury, an 18% increase in Criminal Damage, and the downward trend in Robbery almost plateaued.

Figures from the start of 2015/16 show these increases continuing to build. Comparing April to June with the same period last year has Violence with Injury up 10%, Criminal Damage up 30%, Robbery up 17% and Theft from Person up 46%.

The Met’s Public Attitudes Survey reports a rise in the percentage of Hackney residents who are ‘worried’ about crime – from 24% (2010) to 38% (2014).

The Council has now launched an online petition calling on the Met and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) to reinstate 100 of the borough’s lost officers and is urging residents to show their support by signing it. Paper versions of the petition are also available in the Town Hall and Hackney Service Centre, Mare Street. 

SIGN THE PETITION
Cllr Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor, Hackney Council
The cuts to policing in Hackney are disproportionate, misguided and counter-productive. They’re putting at risk years of fantastic partnership working between the local police, the council and our communities.

“Hackney has a great record on reducing crime over the past decade and overall this is still the trend. However, the increase in violence and theft we’ve seen over the past year is a real concern. We know people and businesses are increasingly worried.
Cllr Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor, Hackney Council

The rationale behind the Met’s 22% cut to Hackney is based solely on a one-year snapshot of demand taken from 2010/11. The methodology has not resulted in the same degree of cuts in similar boroughs. For instance, Newham has 3% fewer officers and Waltham Forest has 8% more.

Since 2010 the population of Hackney has grown by more than 20,000 (a 9% increase), and there has been an ever-growing influx of thousands of people every night to popular places such as Shoreditch and Dalston.

As well as being stretched in general, such is the shortage of officers that the local police have had to disband Operation Bantam, which for over a decade had been a critical element of the borough’s strong record of reducing gang violence. Hackney once had a team of 40 officers dedicated to gangs, this currently stands at six. There has also been a reduction in PCSOs from 100 to 37.

Cllr Linden added: “We appreciate the Met needs to make savings, but the formula it used to allocate officers short-changed Hackney at the time and a lot has changed since then. It needs to change its strategy for Hackney, before these short-term increases become a long-term slide putting residents at risk.

“We have formally raised our concerns with the Met and MOPAC on several occasions. We are now calling on residents to make their voices heard too by signing our petition.”

The change.org petition is specifically directed at Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, Stephen Greenhalgh, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, and Bernard Hogan-Howe, Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

It follows the Council raising the issues of policing in Hackney with the Met and GLA on several occasions. Hackney Mayor Jules Pipe has written letters to London’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, and the Met’s Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner, laying out the evidence. The Mayor, Council Chief Executive and Head of Safer Communities have also met with the Assistant Commissioner to discuss Hackney’s position in person. In each instance they have stood by their strategy.

More facts and figures:

1) Detailed comparison graph/table of equivalent boroughs:

Police Officer Numbers per Borough – Comparing Oct 2010 to April 2015

Year

Hackney

Greenwich

Lewisham

Haringey

W Forest

Newham

T Hamlets

Ealing

Croydon

Oct10

770

680

666

710

549

820

809

730

734

Oct11

733

630

634

690

547

780

745

698

694

Oct12

688

581

621

700

558

776

720

692

646

Oct13

635

576

611

623

572

769

656

670

698

Sep14

606

610

642

614

601

785

684

715

727

April15

597

614

637

606

604

789

674

693

732

 

-22.5%

-10%

-4%

-14.6%

+8%

-4%

-16.7%

-5%

-0.3%

2) The Met’s Public Attitudes Survey reports a rise in the percentage of Hackney residents who are ‘worried’ about crime – from 24% (2010) to 38% (2014).

3) In the Mayor of London’s Police and Crime Plan 2013-16, it was recommended Hackney should have 685 officers.

4) According to the MOPAC crime statistics, where previously Hackney had been below the ‘equivalent boroughs’ average and, in some cases, the London average, it is now above both for MOPAC 7 offences overall, Burglary, Violence with Injury, and Robbery.

The other MOPAC 7 offences are Criminal Damage, Theft from Motor Vehicle, Theft of Motor Vehicle, Theft from Person.

5) ONS data on Hackney reports a population of 241,700 on June 30, 2010, and 263,200 on June 30, 2014. This represents an 8.9% increase.