Steve Reed MP calls on Boris to rethink dangerous removal of every Croydon neighbourhood police officer
MP for Croydon North Steve Reed has warned plans to remove all of Croydon’s neighbourhood police officers could lead to an increase in crime.
The Metropolitan Police are considering plans which would see the removal of every Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) working in London.
The move comes after research by Mr Reed revealed neighbourhood policing in Croydon had already been cut at a higher rate than elsewhere in London.
A Freedom of Information request by Mr Reed showed that the number of PCSOs in Croydon has fallen by 76% in the last five years – well above the London average of 54%, despite being London’s second most populated borough.
In 2010 there were 173 PCSOs in the borough, compared to just 41 in 2015. PCSOs were introduced by the last Labour government to keep residents safe through high visibility patrols.
Steve Reed MP said:
These new plans are dangerous and will leave Croydon’s neighbourhoods without a visible police presence, having already suffered from above average cuts.
The Mayor must rethink these plans which will leave criminals laughing. The recent troubling rise in violent crime in Croydon shows that cuts to the police have consequences. With no PCSOs on the streets, and every police station closed in Croydon North, residents will rightly be concerned that the Tories are failing to keep Croydon safe.
I have previously written to the Mayor to ask him to explain to the residents of Croydon why their neighbourhoods were being left unprotected, yet these new plans show the Tories just aren’t listening.
Steven Reed is Labour MP for Croydon North and Shadow Minister for Children and Families. In 2018 his private member’s bill on reducing violent mental health restraint became law. In June 2019 he launched Labour’s civil society strategy outlining radical plans to empower citizens and communities.
Steve chairs the Cooperative Councils Innovation Network, co-chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for London, was Leader of Lambeth Council 2006-12 where he led the council’s children’s services to become best-rated in the country and pioneered the public-health approach to tackling violent youth crime. He worked in publishing for 16 years and was an elected trade union branch secretary.