Archive - Wednesday, 20 February 2013
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MP starts petition against police reforms
An MP has launched a petition against changes to the way the borough is policed.
Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake starts campaign against MOPAC reform plans
Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake says plans to adjust the way neighbourhoods are policed and to close the front counter at Wallington Police Station could be detrimental to safety in the borough and others are backing him.
The Mayor's Office for Police and Crime and the Metropolitan Police want to change the way the capital is policed to cut costs. In the plans the front desk at Wallington police station will be closed leaving Sutton with just one police station open to the public 24-hours-a-day in Sutton town centre.
The plan includes an increase in police officers in the borough, from 295 to 337 by 2015, but the set up of neighbourhood teams will change. Neighbourhood teams are made up of a sergeant, two PCs and three PCSOs but under the plans there will be just one PC and one PCSO for each neighbourhood.
There will be a greater pool of officers available to each team with other officers less rigidly attached to neighbourhoods, meaning they can be sent to other areas of the borough if needed.
Mr Brake has concerns the new arrangement will lead to a cut in visible policing and has launched a petition against it.
He said: "The feedback I've had from people is that they fear we're going back to how it was 15 years ago when we never saw a bobby on the beat.
There's a question mark on officer numbers and a lot of people feel unclear as to what is involved."
Mr Brake's petition calls for MOPAC's plans to be scrapped and 70 people have already signed it.
MOPAC's plans are out for consultation until next month. A police spokesman said: "[Under the plans]"Local officers will continue to be available on foot and bicycle patrol to speak to the public; visit schools, residents and businesses; hold regular street briefings and support local community activities.
"They will continue to help look after victims of crime, provide crime prevention advice and work with partners like Sutton Council to provide solutions to long-term problems in local communities."
To sign Mr Brake's petition visit http://tombrake.co.uk/en/petition/protect-sutton-s-police. To take part in the consultation go to www.london.gov.uk/priorities/mayors-office-policing-and-crime.