Information about my work as a Labour Councillor for East Finchley in the London Borough of Barnet

Monday, 18 February 2013

What is Barnet telling Boris Johnson?

In a brief follow up on the residents perception survey carried out by Barnet, the top concern, expressed by 31% of respondents was crime.

The survey findings show that there is real concern about burglaries, which I find comes up with alarming regularity on the doorstep in some ares, especially Friern Barnet, but also Childs Hill and North Finchley (both of which are the worst in London for burglaies).

Resident priorities were greater police visibility, more CCTV, naming and shaming, better neighbourhood watches. ensuring criminals pay back to society and better street lighting.

I simply cannot see how Boris Johnson is listening to Barnet residents, given what they say, and his policy response, which is to close down police station front desks and reduce neighbourhood policing teams.

As we have said before, residents of Chipping Barnet will have to go to Edmonton or Colindale for a 24 hour desk to report a crime, which is a gross neglection of a constituency which turned out in high numbers to vote for Mr Johnson last year. Don't expect a defence by the local MP, or the Tory Councillors. Their petition, set up by the Council Leader himself has just 66 signatures on the Council website, even though one of the closing stations is in his ward.

When residents want greater visibility, Mr Johnson fudges the numbers so badly, the GLA Labour Group have reported him to the UK Statistics Authority, as Andrew Dismore AM reports. He is fixated with his 32,000 figures that he is willing to risk incredulity to sprout it. It's a sad and shocking indictment of the press that Mayor Johnson never gets properly exposed to the public for these sorts of things. He just seems to pluck these figures out of thin air.

Residents want stronger neighbourhood teams, and a visible presence, so why is Mr Johnson reducing the number of dedicated ward officers to just one? this is a mockery of community policing. These officers are extremely important intelligence for the police, and build those links with young people that make the police a more trusted and friendlier face than they were before. Now they are being decimated so Boris can keep his 32,000 figure, which no one seems to know how he gets to.

Barnet residents want to see the police on the streets and they want community policing, but they won't get it from this Mayor.