Making London Safer
Crimes of violence have been increasing in Southwark in recent years, and the Council must act. We aim to tackle this rise with two key proposals:
1.) £2m for extra police officers
Crime is up dramatically and police numbers are falling. Southwark has 665 officers, down from 725 last year. We will start hiring officers again – expanding both neighbourhood patrols and investigative teams.
Violent crime – especially the vicious new phenomenon of moped crime – has to be our key priority. There were more than 800 moped attacks in Southwark last year.
Moped gangs are not easy to catch. It takes long-term surveillance, intelligence-led policing and a lot of officer hours to find and prosecute them.
That is exactly what budget cuts have destroyed – time-intensive pro-active investigations. The police have largely been reduced to ‘reactive’ operations.
We will create a £2m dedicated unit for pro-active investigations in Southwark, tasked initially with fighting moped crime, and answerable to the Borough Commander.
2. Youth services
In 2016 Southwark Labour cut youth services in half, sacking key frontline staff and closing down community facilities.
The Liberal Democrats will restore funding for youth workers, mentors, community organisers, mental health specialists and other key roles.
We will co-design youth programmes and facilities with Southwark’s excellent voluntary and community groups. We will create gang diversion programmes, open new youth clubs and build new affordable facilities – expanding opportunity and cutting crime.
Prevention is a no-brainer – in the long-run it pays for itself.