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View from the Assembly: We must invest in police not make cuts

PUBLISHED: 08:00 13 January 2018

Archant

I am sure that many of you will share my concerns regarding a number of violent incidents that took place across London over the festive period. In Newham over the past few days, two young people were injured in a takeaway in Plaistow after an incident involving a firearm.

I spoke to the mother of one of the victims as she waited in hospital for news of her son and this highlighted to me the devastating impact that these senseless crimes have on the families and communities they hit. I am glad that in this incident neither of the boys have sustained life threatening injuries and I wish them both a speedy recovery.

In addition to this four London families ushered in the New Year with the tragic news that a loved one had been murdered in a knife-related incident.

It would be naive and simplistic to say that more resources would get rid of these violent crimes entirely, nonetheless it is also the case that more funding for both enforcement and preventative work would greatly help in alleviating this problem.

The force has to make £370 million cuts over the next four years and officer numbers could fall significantly below 30,000.

This is why my colleagues and I are standing firmly alongside the Mayor in continuing to lobby the government to re-think their recent funding arrangements for the Met.

There are no two ways about this - if we value public services then they have to be properly resourced.

My motion to the London Assembly in this regard secured all-party support and it’s a campaign I will be pursuing in 2018.

Just before the festive break I spent a few hours with PC Uddin, a dedicated ward officer for West Ham, as part of the Walk the Met initiative. We went around his patch looking at crime hotspots and discussed the work that is being done in partnership with the Council and community to address crime in the borough. The dedication and professionalism of officers like him is inspiring, reassuring and commendable!

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