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View from City Hall: I welcome the police crackdown on crime

PUBLISHED: 11:02 26 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:02 26 January 2018

Archant

The New Year in Havering began with the unwelcome news that robberies and burglaries are on the rise across the borough.

This will be concerning to a lot of people and, though spates of these crimes are not new, it is important this latest wave is not ignored. I recently met with Det Supt Neil Matthews, who is leading Operation Mexico – a scheme specifically aimed at cracking down on these offences. I was pleased to see that substantial resources are being allocated to the issue and there is a real push across the tri-borough area to put an end to this increase.

Sadiq Khan has attempted to score political points on police funding, by blaming central government for a lack of resources in the Met.The reality is however that his recent increase in council tax means the force will not face a budget deficit until at least 2020. I fully back calls for even more funding – but the Mayor must make the most of what he already has.

I recently attended a walkabout with Met officers in Romford. It was good to see first-hand the work they are carrying out to crack down on anti-social behaviour.

Overspending and over-promising is a common theme with this Mayor and it has perhaps had no greater impact than on our transport. A recent decision to sell off and lease back the new Elizabeth Line trains smacks of a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deal that could come back to haunt TfL in years to come. The Mayor is looking for ways to claw back the £640million cost of his partial fares freeze but the long-term impact of these decision could be severe. There was a break in politics at City Hall on Monday when the whole Assembly paused for a Holocaust Memorial service. I will also be attending Romford’s own service this Sunday. It is so important that the younger generation learns the lessons of history.

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