This week, Cllr Lib Peck, Leader of Lambeth Council and London Councils Executive Member for Crime and Public Protection, wrote to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to protest about the proposed plans to scrap London's Police Community Support Officers. These PCSOs perform a vital role in our community and Lambeth Labour will strongly campaign against these cuts. A copy of the letter is below.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe
New Scotland Yard
I am writing to you to express my deep concern about the announcement that the Metropolitan Police are considering scrapping all 1,017 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in London. This proposed plan is extremely worrying for all those committed to keeping our communities safe and I strongly urge you to scrap this proposal.
With falling officer numbers and fewer crimes being solved after years of police cuts, scrapping all PCSOs working in our communities would be the effective abandonment of neighbourhood policing. These neighbourhood police teams were brought in to work directly in local areas, give confidence back to residents by making their streets safer and playing the important role of building trust between the police and communities. In an area like Lambeth, where long-standing distrust exists between the police and many parts of the community, this is incredibly important and has resulted in improved community relations. To now reverse these improvements and remove PCSOs from our streets would be deeply misguided.
After already reducing the number of PCSOs in London by 4,000 and slashing policing in Lambeth by more than 20% since 2010, the Metropolitan Police and the Mayor should be focused on providing more, not less, resources to keep our communities safe. I also find it astonishing that the Mayor of London could say that he was unaware of this proposal and think it is quite clear therefore that this proposal is short-sighted, has not been consulted on properly and lacks any credible support.
Cllr Lib Peck
Leader, Lambeth Council