Today, Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, announced dramatic and damaging changes to local policing for Sutton and London. The changes would replace the Met’s current 32 borough model, by merging local policing across boroughs.
As part of the changes, Sutton police will come together with Bromley and Croydon police to form 1 of 12 Basic Command Units (BCU).
BCUs will be expected to deliver policing functions such as neighbourhoods, emergency response, CID and safeguarding. Each will be led by a chief superintendent who will be the BCU Commander. This move comes as the Met is being forced by the Tory Government to make savings of £325m by 2021/2022.
Reacting to the news, Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council said:
"The Tories’ decision to continue cutting the police budget means that by April, London will have just 30,000 police officers on the streets. We know that across our borough the number of officers has already gone down by 10%.
"Sutton residents will be shocked by these proposals that will inevitably suck away key resources from Sutton into Croydon, an area with much higher crime.
"Thanks to a special partnership between Sutton Council and the police, we have managed to keep crime down and we now live in one of the safest boroughs in London. It's a great record that is now at risk. We will fight tooth and nail against these dangerous proposals."
Carshalton & Wallington MP Tom Brake said:
"With violent crime on the increase in the capital, this move is inexplicable and irresponsible.
"A ‘one size fits all’ approach is not good enough. Each Borough needs a Borough Commander, and a Borough team focused on the Borough’s needs.
"To deliver effective community policing, the local police must have strong roots in the local community. The Liberal Democrats would increase the police budget to keep a reassuring police presence on our streets. London’s Labour Mayor can’t simply hide behind these Conservative cuts.
"Mayor Khan’s top priority must be to keep Londoners safe and use every means to do that."