Tory Funding Cuts Safer Neighbourhood Teams
Askew, College Park and Old Oak wards affected
Two wards with some of the highest crime levels in the borough have had their police numbers cut. Askew and Collage Park & Old Oak wards are to each lose an officer from their Safer Neighbourhood Police Teams cutting each of the local forces by 16%. Last week Hammersmith Broadway ward had its police team cut by 3 officers. The wards are all funded by Hammersmith and Fulham Council.
The cut in police numbers has come about after the Council’s police plans apparently hit a funding crisis when it became clear that they had not allocated sufficient revenues to policing in the borough. The Council’s budget shows that it is spending £2.7m on a council tax cut equal to £27 off a Band D bill but had only allocated £750k to the police.
Earlier this year our sister website HammersmithToday.co.uk reported that the Conservative run Council voted down Labour’s plans to give the five wards with the highest crime 24/7 Police Task Squads. Instead the Tory Administration went for a much smaller scheme in Shepherds Bush and Fulham Broadway wards. Controversy arose when Cllr. Mark Loveday, a leading Conservative Councillor, described his own scheme as “a bit of a gamble”.
Cllr. Lisa Homan, Labour’s shadow crime spokesperson said “The Conservatives are managing this with a surprising level of incompetence. They promised local people more police, not less. Now they’ve cut police numbers in three wards with some of the highest crime rates in the borough. Labour’s plans would have seen those three wards win extra 24/7 protection.”
“We're running a public campaign to have those police numbers reinstated and are working with local residents to embarrass the Tories into reversing their police cutting plans. We call on all residents in those wards affected – irrespective of party politics – to contact their councillors and stop the cut in police numbers.”
April 16, 2007