Setting the record straight on police numbers
Following an article which appeared online claiming police numbers were increasing in Hackney, Deputy Mayor Sophie Linden has responded to set the record straight.
I'd like to set the record straight regarding changes to the number of police in Hackney. While the Mayor of London would like us to believe that there will be more officers on our streets, the reality couldn't be further from the truth. The Met's own statistics show that the number of officers in Hackney is continuing to fall. Hackney had 770 officers in 2010. The total planned for 2015 is 685, but it is already below that and predicted to fall to as few as 600. We understand that the Met - like all public services - is under financial pressure - but, with Hackney's increasing popularity as a place to visit, and with a population increase of more than 20% since 2001, these cuts could undo years of hard work. Your headline suggests a greater number of police will be allocated to Hackney following the changes, but Chief Inspector Walker's quote actually refers to more officers for the new neighbourhood policing teams, which replace Safer Neighbourhood Teams and cover much larger areas. Simply moving officers between teams does not equal more police. Since Mr Johnson announced plans to reduce the number of officers based in Hackney, we have been campaigning to urge him to reverse his potentially damaging decision. Hundreds of residents have signed our online petition to boost officer numbers and protect our Safer Neighbourhood Teams, which have played a crucial part in crime falling by 30% over the last decade - that's about 11,000 fewer victims of crime. They, like us, think there must be other ways to make the necessary savings.
Cllr Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor, Hackney Council