Council leader says London policing plan may not be best for Sutton
7:00am Friday 15th February 2013 in News
Plans to reform the way the borough is policed have been branded one-size-fits-all and unconvincing by the leader of the council.
It raises the prospect Sutton Council may oppose plans from the Mayor's Office for Police and Crime (MOPAC) to reshape London's police force - a plan including an increase in officers in Sutton and shutting a police station to the public.
Under the plans, currently out for consultation, Sutton will get 48 more officers in its safer neighbourhood teams but will see a reduction in the number of PCSOs giving an overall increase in police numbers of 42 by 2015. The plans also include cutting back-room staff and closing the front counter of Wallington police station.
The scheme is part of a wider plan for London to cut priority crimes by 20 per cent, boost confidence by 20 per cent and reduce spending by 20 per cent.
A public meeting with a panel of representatives from MOPAC, the Metropolitan Police and Sutton police, was held at the Secombe theatre on Tuesday.
Sutton Council leader Councillor Ruth Dombey, who chaired the meeting, said: "I'm not convinced this is a model for Sutton - it's one-size-fits-all. For areas like Croydon and Lambeth it may be appropriate but in Sutton crime rates have been going down and confidence has gone up and that's a result of excellent neighbourhood policing. I have real concerns about how this model could affect that."
Sutton Council will decide what it will say in response to the consultation later this month.
During the meeting panel members including Borough Commander Chief Superintendent guy Ferguson reassured members of the public the plans will not result in police being diverted away from the borough.
Concerns were also raised about plans for a single PC and a single PCSO to be the faces of policing in each ward with other officers being able to move more fluidly between wards but Ch Supt Ferguson said the plan would make sure manpower is better used.
To take part or find out more about MOPAC's plans visit www.london.gov.uk/priorities/mayors-office-policing-and-crime.
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