Release Date: 21 April 2017
Mayoral cuts to local funding for crime prevention puts programmes at risk that aim to keep residents’ safe, says Richmond Council.
The Mayor of London has announced that from next year his funding for crime prevention programmes in Richmond will be more than halved. The 55 per cent cut, reduces the funding allocation from £169,000 to £76,000. This will apply to local projects from 2018 onwards.
The announcement coincides with his proposal to cut the number of borough police commanders, which critics argue will make senior local police officers much more remote from the communities they serve and make it harder for them to stay on top of local issues.
Currently Richmond, along with all of London’s 32 boroughs, has a Chief Superintendent who is in charge of all local policing matters. Under the Mayor’s proposed arrangements, a single commander would be shared between Richmond, Merton, Kingston and Wandsworth. These boroughs are geographically dispersed and have different policing priorities.
None of London’s other boroughs are being formed into a cluster of four. Across the Capital only two or three boroughs are being joined together, prompting questions as to why Richmond and its three neighbours are being treated differently.
Cllr Stephen Speak, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said:
“As one of London’s safest boroughs, Richmond already receives one of the lowest amounts of Mayoral funding for community safety. This cut is slashing our already meagre allowance.
“Losing 55% of our funding means that we will have to stop some vital services that are in place to help keep our resident’s safe. But, these also happen to be services that the Mayor of London himself has said should be priority areas.
“On top of this, the Mayor is taking advantage of the low crime rates in Richmond by proposing a deeply unsettling new management structure. If it goes ahead then our senior Police officers will be heavily stretched across four boroughs. These boroughs, when added together are geographically huge – serving almost 1 million residents. Police officers will spend a long time simply travelling around the area. Each borough has their own crime issues and priorities to manage. The Police are being presented with an impossible task.
“We will of course continue to work with the Mayor but, as the current proposals stand, these funding cuts and proposed structure changes put at risk all the good work that the Council and our residents do in making sure Richmond upon Thames is one of the safest boroughs in London.”
Updated: 28 April 2017