Politicians demand more police after 'damning' crime figures

Politicians disagree over police cuts

Tory MP Andrew Rosindell (left) said more police were needed after east London's solved crime rates fell significantly, but Labour mayor Sadiq Khan's office said Conservative cuts had reduced staff numbers. - Credit: Archant

Community leaders have called for more police officers in east London, after the proportion of serious crimes being solved plummeted.  

Reports of serious crimes have risen by 20 per cent in five years across Havering, Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham, whilst officer numbers have fallen. 

Dagenham and Rainham Labour MP Jon Cruddas said he would raise the “alarming” figures with police, while Romford Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell said the trend “must be stopped and reversed”.  

“The only way to do this is through the tried and tested method of more police and higher profile policing, real deterrence and tougher sentences, and a greater emphasis on personal, individual responsibility,” he said.  

But whilst Labour and Conservatives agreed more police are needed, each side has blamed the other for years of cuts to officer numbers. 

Barking MP Margaret Hodge and Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas. Pictures: Ken Mears / Pawel Szewc

Barking MP Margaret Hodge said new crime figures were 'damning', whilst Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas said he would raise them with police bosses. - Credit: Ken Mears / Pawel Szewczyk

Barking's Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge called the figures “damning”, adding: “For a decade now the Tories have decimated community policing... It has become more and more difficult for both the police and the courts to take the necessary action as they see their resources stretched to the limit.” 

But Conservative London Assembly member Keith Prince – a police and crime adviser to Boris Johnson during his tenure as Mayor of London – blamed Sadiq Khan.  

Most Read

“These figures show that since taking over, the mayor has completely taken his eye off the ball when it comes to crime at all levels,” said Mr Prince. “His constant approach of reducing officers has clearly had an impact.” 

Mr Khan’s office has claimed Conservatives are simply blaming him for their own cuts. 

Keith Prince with mayor Sadiq Khan and Val Shawcross

London Assembly member Keith Prince blame Sadiq Khan (right) for police cuts, but Mr Khan's office said £850m of government cuts were the real cause. - Credit: Archant

A spokesman for Mr Khan said: “The government spent a decade forcing through £850million of cuts to policing in London, which last year led to officer numbers falling to record lows.”  

Government figures show cuts to officers and PCSOs began when Mr Johnson was mayor.  

In 2010, the Met had 33,367 full-time officers. By 2013, the figure had fallen 9pc to 30,398. It is now up to 32,199. 

In 2010, it had 4,645 PCSOs. By the time Mr Johnson left office in 2016, that had fallen by 65pc to 1,626. It has continued shrinking under Mr Khan, hitting 1,264 in 2020.