Latest figures from the Borough Commander show that Southwark has 60 fewer police officers this year compared to last, meaning that Southwark loses a police officer every week. Over the same period of time, knife crime and moped-enabled crime in Southwark have increased by half and muggings have increased by a quarter. All of these increases are double the London average.
In 2010, Southwark had 957 police officers. By 2017 that figure had declined to 725 and by January this year, it had declined further to 665. In total, the number of police officers serving Southwark have declined by 30% since 2010.
Southwark Liberal Democrats have made tackling the crime-wave a core part of their manifesto proposals for the local election on 3rd of May. They propose to directly fund more officers on the beat, and a dedicated Specialist Crime Unit of intelligence, surveillance and undercover Officers that will specifically focus on knife crime and moped crime. Their plans also propose reversing in full the cuts to Youth Services, which the Labour-run council have halved in recent years.
Cllr Anood Al-Samerai, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Southwark Council said:
‘Crime has risen very sharply in Southwark – particularly knife crime, moped crime and muggings. These have increased at double the rate of the rest of London. We’re proposing practical solutions to directly tackle crime – with more police officers on the streets and a specialist unit to pro-actively target knife and moped crime. We will also address the causes of crime, by properly funding youth services in Southwark, which the council has decided to halve. We believe more police officers and better youth services will make Southwark safer and help create a city that works for all.’