Skip to main content

Neighbourhood Policing

Volume 584: debated on Monday 7 July 2014

5. What assessment she has made of the effect of recent changes in the level of neighbourhood policing. (904647)

The Government strongly support neighbourhood policing. It provides a visible presence in communities, cutting crime and disorder. By slashing red tape and sweeping away central targets, we have empowered chief constables and police and crime commissioners to respond to the individual and specific needs of their communities. Police reform is working. Crime is down by more than 10% since June 2010, and victim satisfaction is up.

However the Minister dresses it up, in wards where there used to be six neighbourhood officers, there are now two. Consequently, my constituents feel less safe. Antisocial behaviour and crime are actually going up in areas such as Shepherd’s Bush and White City. May we have safer neighbourhood teams back? We need preventive, rather than reactive, local policing.

I feel that the hon. Gentleman would benefit from hearing some of the facts about what is happening. Across the Metropolitan police, there are 2,600 more police officers in neighbourhood teams to boost local policing. Specifically in Hammersmith and Fulham, the number of officers in the borough will have increased between October 2011 and 2015. Very specifically, there will be an increase of 92 officers in the safer neighbourhood teams he values so much. That is why crime in London generally and Hammersmith specifically has been falling.

I know that my right hon. Friend will be aware, not least because it was mentioned at Prime Minister’s questions last week, of the death of Cherylee Shennan in my constituency. I want to put on the record my thoughts about Detective Sergeant Damien McAlister and Detective Constable Karen Kenworthy, both of whom were severely injured in an attempt to save Cherylee’s life, and give him the opportunity to echo them. They serve as a constant reminder to everyone in this House of the danger that police officers put themselves in every day to keep us and our streets safe.

I am sure that the whole House will echo my hon. Friend’s sentiment about those officers. Damien McAlister and Karen Kenworthy showed the bravery that we get from officers all over the country in the most difficult of situations. Such bravery is essential, particularly in tragic situations such as the one he mentions, and it should never go without being noticed.