Today I joined Tessa Jowell MP, Cllr Peter John - the leader of Southwark Council and GLA member Val Shawcross to launch a petition calling on the Government, the Mayor of London and the Metropolitan Police to protect police numbers in Southwark. The petition, which we hope to have signed by 1,000 local people, says:
We the representatives and residents of Southwark, call upon the Government, Mayor of London, the Metropolitan Police Authority and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner:
1. Not to reduce the number of front line full time Police Officers in the Borough Command of Southwark
2. to ensure that each and every ward of Southwark continues to retain the 1 Sergeant, 2 PCs and 3 PCSOs model of Safer Neighbourhood Teams
3. to be open and transparent in publishing information about the MPS budget, full time police numbers and changes in staffing levels affecting our communities
Londoners are being warned they will have over 1,000 fewer police officers in March 2011 than in March 2010. And the Police Federation suggest that 20,000 police officers will be cut across the UK by the end of the Government's Spending Review.
We have worked hard on the "Southwark Police 1,000 Campaign" and from 2002 to 2011 police numbers in Southwark have increased from 775 officers to 1071 officers. Many local people are worried that government spending cuts will mean a cut in police numbers in Southwark.
In January Tessa Jowell MP, Simon Hughes MP and I met with the Policing Minister Nick Herbert MP to explain why police numbers in Southwark mustn't fall. Crime is falling in Southwark, but the situation is fragile. We do not want to take the risk is seeing police numbers come down. Simon Hughes MP must stand up for people in Southwark and join our call on the Government to stop these cuts.