Fears over community policing cuts heightened by planned merger


In December 2017, Labour closed the Streatham police front counter that cost £500,000 to kit out just two years ago. With Labour fighting amongst themselves, Lambeth Labour failed to stop their own Mayor’s planned police station closures. Lambeth Labour even asked Streatham residents to sign a petition on the issue, which they did not submit to the Mayor before the consultation deadline!

Now we have learned that, in a major shake up of the London Metropolitan Police, Southwark and Lambeth police will be merged into one new ‘Basic Command Unit’.

The planned merger of local forces promises to cut police numbers further and distance the Met from the communities it serves.

Helen Thompson, Lib Dem campaigner for Streatham Wells, said: “Now that Labour has closed our police front-counter, I’m worried that this merger will mean fewer police, slower response times and less community reassurance. In Lambeth, the number of police on the beat has reduced from 806 in 2015 to 695 in 2017. We want to see this trend reversed, and to ensure that police in our communities are accessible to all.”

If you agree that Lambeth needs its own police force, support our campaign here.

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Nationally, Liberal Democrats are calling for £300m investment in community policing. A recent survey carried out by the Streatham Wells Liberal Democrats showed that two in three local respondents (65%) feel that increasing numbers of police on the beat is the most effective way to fight crime for Streatham. The Lambeth Labour record does nothing to suggest that we can rely on our Labour-dominated local council to make the case for our community policing needs under this new regime. Your Liberal Democrats, in Streatham Wells and across Lambeth, will continue to fight for the presence of sufficient and accessible local officers.

Streatham Wells Safer Neighbourhood Panel chair Julian Heather said: “Under the Conservative government, further cuts to police numbers are planned. I support the Liberal Democrats’ call for more investment in policing and we must ensure the Labour Mayor keeps his promise to maintain two dedicated officers per ward.”

Streatham Wells dedicated ward officers run “Cuppa with a copper” sessions each week to engage with the local community. These are advertised on the Met Police website and on Twitter @MPSStreathamW.


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