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The Fight Continues to Save London's PCSOs


Last week the Metropolitan Police were due to discuss the possible cuts to 1000 Police Community Support Officers. But following significant pressure from the Labour Party in London they have delayed their decision until December.
Even before these cuts, policing in London is already suffering. The government have cut the Met's budget already (£600m between 2010 and 2016) and are planning another £800m cut from the budget. We have lost 2,443 police officers and 3,170 PCSOs from London’s streets since 2010. The ‘Safer Neighbourhood Team’ model where each ward had 1 sergeant, 2 PCs and 3 PCSOs dedicated to it, was dismantled by the Tory Mayor of London in 2011 when he introduced his ‘Local Policing Model’ leaving just 1 PCSO and 1 officer dedicated to a ward.  

At the last Police and Crime Committee meeting Labour's London Assembly Members made it clear to the Commissioner and the Deputy Mayor that this decision could not go ahead without meaningful consultation with London's communities. Dismantling vital neighbourhood policing teams without any debate or consultation is totally unacceptable.
Earlier cuts are already being felt. The Met's own figures show that crime is up 3.5% over the last 12 months and violent crime in particular has risen 24% over the same period. We're deeply concerned that further cuts to the Police would lead to an even greater increase in crime in London.
Mayor Steve Bullock said “PCSOs are vital to our local policing. Their presence builds valuable links between communities and the Met Police, supporting the police in their work. Damaging these links will lead to an increase in crime in London. Lewisham Council wants to keep our Safer Neighbourhood Teams.”
Cllr Janet Daby said: “the Tory government and Tory Mayor of London are weakening our communities. They are doing this by attacking the structures and services in place in London and they are doing this by reducing the police services which support and protect people.  They clearly do not recognise or appreciate the role of PCSOs; PCSOs are integral to the Met Police and the local community, they support police officers in their work and promote community cohesion. To reduce this service has the triple effect of weakening the police force, weakening links within the community and impacting on the ability to combat crime.” 
The Labour Party in Lewisham and across London will continue our fight to stop the dismantling of local policing in London and we need your help, sign our petition and share it with your friends and family.http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-neighbourhood-policing-in-london.

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