Editorial comment: Police have no choice but to be innovative


- Credit: Mike Brooke

The fact that Hackney will share a police chief with another borough seems astonishing. But it’s a sign of the times.

The “super commander” model is being rolled out across London in the wake of huge funding cuts to the Met by the government over the last eight years.

Hackney has lost one in four officers since 2010, and last year Shoreditch police station closed, leaving just Stoke Newington in terms of front counters.

But it’s not all bad news. Islington and Camden merged last year and over there they have seen a reduction in moped crime and violent knife crime, thanks to a new, dedicated task force.

It’s good we’ve been given time to sit down and have a chat with Det Ch Supt Sue Williams, and lets hope the transparency and face time afforded to us last week continues when she takes on the job officially in October.

As for her plans, the idea of more bobbies on the beat will be welcomed by many.

So too will the neighbourhood taskforce, which will provide additional support to street police. It’s all about how they use the little money they do have to prioritise key issues.

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It will be interesting to see how her pledge to get the community on board takes shape, too. There has historically been a lack of trust between Hackney communities and the police, an issue that was brought back into the spotlight with the death of Rashan Charles last year.

But Det Ch Supt has had a long and distinguished career. She’s worked across London and centrally, and will have her own ideas on how to go about her job.

The funding cuts mean police are left having to come up with new and innovative ways to go about their jobs. And Det Ch Supt Williams’ pledges sound promising.

Let’s just hope they work as well as she wants them to.