Council launches campaign against police cuts claiming Hackney needs more officers to keep residents safe
PUBLISHED: 08:53 17 April 2013 | UPDATED: 08:53 17 April 2013
Hackney Council has launched a campaign against cuts to the police force, claiming a loss of 85 officers in the borough will jeopardise the safety of residents.
Boris Johnson launched the Mayor of London’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) plan in Dalston last month, confirming £500 million of cuts by 2015.
As part of the plans, Hackney Central police station in Lower Clapton Road will close, the opening hours of Shoreditch Police Station will be cut and each of the borough’s 19 safer neighbourhood teams will be reduced to one sergeant, one PC and one PCSO.
Three years ago Hackney had 770 police officers - but the total planned for 2015 is nearly one hundred fewer at 685.
However according to the council, the figure is already below that and predicted to fall to as few as 600.
Cllr Sophie Linden, the council’s cabinet member for crime and community safety, said crime in the borough has fallen by nearly 30 per cent over the last decade, equating to around 11,000 fewer victims of crime.
“This didn’t happen overnight,” she said.
“Hackney’s population has grown by over 20 per cent since 2001, and the borough is becoming increasingly more and more popular with visitors - we think it’s important that the number of officers in Hackney reflects this.
“During the consultation period we expressed our concerns and said that the number of officers based in Hackney in 2010 was the number we need to continue to keep residents safe.”
The council has launched an online petition calling for more police in Hackney, and wants residents to sign and support the campaign.
Cllr Linden added: “We’re now inviting residents to let the Mayor of London know what an important issue this is for people in Hackney.”
City Hall was approached to comment but did not respond to the Gazette.
View the petition at www.hackney.gov.uk/more-police-for-hackney.htm.