Figures uncovered by Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, show increased waiting times this year for Sutton residents needing police assistance. This comes as Conservative ministers force the Met Police to slash £325 million from its budget.
In February 2018, 999 calls in Sutton deemed “significant” by the Met Police took 32 minutes and 12 seconds for a police unit to arrive at the incident. By June 2018, this had increased to 44 minutes and 23 seconds - a rise of over 12 minutes. Meanwhile, ‘out of hours’ waiting times to speak to a police operator have also dramatically increased in recent months across London.
The Metropolitan Police must cut £325 million from its budget by 2021 and in a bid to meet this savings target, Sutton’s police merger with Croydon and Bromley is set to go live. Sutton Liberal Democrats have warned the merger could further worsen police response times, and urged Conservative ministers to invest in community policing instead.
Commenting, Deputy Leader of Liberal Democrat-run Sutton Council, Cllr Jayne McCoy, said:
“The Conservative police cuts are having a direct impact on Sutton. Sutton residents are waiting longer to get through to the police, and waiting longer to get police assistance.
The merger of Sutton’s police with Croydon and Bromley will further worsen response times. These cuts are unacceptable and short-sighted. We should be investing more in community policing so Sutton residents can still feel safe in their borough.”