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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Policing is going back to the bad old days...

Yesterday the Mayor of London announced some important changes to the Met Police service which will have a huge, and in many ways, a bad impact on policing across London and the borough of Ealing.

We do know that Acton police station will stay open 24 hours a day, the Ealing front counter services will transfer to Perceval House and Southall will be downgraded to a standard front counter service. If you want to check out the full report click here.

This raises questions about how an Ealing police station in Perceval House will operate. It is more than possible if the Council and police want to, to have a Perceval House police station open 24 hours a day. Also the front counter at Greenford Police station will be downgraded to a contact point, and three new contact points set up at Northolt Leisure Centre, Ashbourne Parade (Hanger Lane) and South Ealing Road which will be open for just one hour on three days of the week.
The Southfield local police team

With a growing population in Ealing police facilities should hardly be reduced. Across London many other places will suffer due to Conservative Boris's plans. Any Ealing being the centre of the activity in the borough (with all the transport links to central Ealing) it seems a bizarre decision to downgrade Ealing.

Many residents, will have nowhere locally to go, to visit a station and report crimes. Any many areas of Southall and Acton do not have internet access so is this a plan to reduce the number of crimes being reported? Potentially you might get a lot more 999 calls.

As part of these changes the size of Ealing's police force will rise 717 from 637. There will also be a reorganisation of the Safer Neighbourhood Teams which operate in each ward in the borough. Over recent years, the numbers of officers allocated to these teams have been eroded with some wards like Southfield  sharing a sergeant.

This new local policing model will mean that each ward will have a sergeant although these may still be shared with another ward, a PC and a PCSO. Then there will be a pool of officers who will be deployed across each of the four clusters (Ealing, Acton, Southall and Greenford & Northolt)

So this means that most areas will lose dedicated PC and PCSOs and then have to figher each other to get a fair share of the cluster PCs. This plan is a return to the bad old days of policing where the Mayor will decimate the Safer Neighbourhood Teams and return to ‘sector’ policing which failed so many communities across London.

Policing is now going back to the bad old days making our system of policing LESS local.

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