Opinion: Policing and violent crime still a priority

City & East AM Unmesh Desai congratulates East Ham MP Stephen Timms for his 25 years in parliament.

City & East AM Unmesh Desai congratulates East Ham MP Stephen Timms for his 25 years in parliament. - Credit: Archant

The prorogation of parliament displays our prime minister’s patent disregard for parliamentary democracy and has shown that he is prepared to ignore his complete lack of mandate and risk running the country into disrepair to please a fringe group of Eurosceptic zealots.

It is vital that our elected representatives are permitted to perform their duties in scrutinising the government at this crucial juncture in our nation's history.

The sterling work undertaken by East Ham MP, Stephen Timms, to hold the government to account on the Exiting the European Union Select Committee should be allowed to be continued. Stephen marks 25 years in parliament this year and this work exemplifies the work he has done in representing the constituency so massive congratulations.

Whilst parliament is suspended, vital work continues at City Hall. At the top of the agenda is the scourge of violent crime which has tragically claimed the lives of over 100 Londoners this year.

At a recent London Assembly Plenary meeting, I proposed a motion which argued that of the 20,000 new police officers the government aims to recruit over the next three years, 5,000 of these should be allocated to the Met to meet the huge level of demand being placed upon them. It was positive to see this motion ultimately passed with unanimous assent.

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I also called upon government to provide reassurances that they will fully fund the total cost of hiring the new officers, including covering the budget for additional police equipment, training, salaries and pensions.

Despite being chocolate-bombed by one of the floats, it was fantastic to attend the Notting Hill Carnival in August on a visit with the Met Police who planned meticulously and worked tirelessly to keep revellers safe from harm.

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However, there is clearly more work to be done to try and reduce the unacceptable levels of violence at carnival and the 350 arrests made and the several assaults on officers serves as a reminder of the lengths that our officers regularly go to protect Londoners.

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