Opinion: Vital to have appropriate police service

PUBLISHED: 10:46 11 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:46 11 December 2019

City & East AM Unmesh Desai, wants the government to recognise serious issues effecting Newham.

City & East AM Unmesh Desai, wants the government to recognise serious issues effecting Newham.


Terrorism has again reared its ugly head with the London Bridge attack, resulting in the tragic deaths of two young people.

The way in which the emergency services responded and the extraordinary bravery of members of the public who confronted the terrorist showed the best of our city in the saddest of circumstances.

Whilst we should avoid knee-jerk reactions, it is important to address the resourcing of our police service and the criminal justice system. It is imperative that the next government takes this on board as a matter of urgency.

My own motion to the London Assembly asked for the Met to be allocated an extra 5,000 officers. It is vital that boroughs like ours get the appropriate police service.

It was depressing to hear that Newham is one of four authorities in the capital where one in every 12 children is homeless.

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The housing crisis, which this and matters like rough sleeping reflect, must be to a key priority for the incoming government.

From City Hall, the mayor is taking stringent measures to tackle the causes of homelessness and has invested millions into increasing the capacity of outreach programmes across the capital.

However, we will only be able to turn this situation around if the next government fully plays its part.

As a society, we must address the damaging welfare 'reforms' implemented since 2010, invest properly in homelessness reduction services and put an end to unfair 'no-fault' evictions.

During these winter months, we are also likely to see an increased strain on our already over-stretched NHS.

Recently published accident and emergency waiting time figures only add to the public's concerns about the state of our health services.

On a local level, these statistics for October showed that the NHS Trust covering the borough had 27.5pc of patients (7,429 people) waiting for more than four hours in A&E before being admitted to a ward, transferred elsewhere, or discharged. This is unacceptable.

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