THE Met are making a number of changes across the borough and some of these were announced in local ward meetings with residents and Councillors.
The custody suite at Southall police station has been closed and 12 cells have been lost. That now leaves Acton police station as the only custody centre in the borough. It is planned that prisoners will go to Polar Park, near Heathrow. Whether this is workable is yet to be seen.
The standard model for most Safer Neighbourhood Teams is for one sergeant, two PCs and three PCSOs.
However, over the last year a number of sergeants have left and not been replaced so some of the SNTs share the same sergeant. Liberal Democrats campaigned against this change in the recent Mayor elections.
Furthermore, across the Met Police there are around 500 vacancies for PCSOs and there is a recruitment process going on to fill the gaps in local SNTs across Ealing. Without a full complement the police cannot be proactive in reducing crime.
Last this year the Met plan to change the SNTs into what they will call Integrated Neighbourhood Policing teams.
There will be extra officers, and it is hoped that there will be sergeants in every ward and additional police officers working in each of the four clusters – Ealing, Southall, Acton, and Greenford & Northolt. These officers will be tasked with investigating lower level crimes such as assaults, harassment or theft of motor vehicles in their area (CID officers would still investigate the more serious crimes across the borough).
One thing that has always seemed strange to me is that a large number police vehicles turn up to deal with a 999 incident (regardless of the size). When the call is made it seems all police vehicles are alerted and they drive to the scene even if many other cars are nearer the scene. In many occasions only one car is needed so a lot of time is wasted in the police travelling to the scene.
A new system when bedded in, should help to better prioritise calls. So if lots of people call about an issue or
a person, they used to be treated as if there was only one phone call about the one incident. It now should be
treated with more important and get a more appropriate response whether they be more police to the scene or
just a quick response.
The police still want to sell off Ealing Police station. If that happens, the Liberal Democrats believe that there
needs to be a station in Central Ealing, as it will take a lot of time for residents to visit a police station. And many residents might not feel it is worth while doing so.
As with these changes there will be some positives as well as negatives. The Liberal Democrat group will be active in monitoring these changes. Do let me know if you want to know more about local police related meetings in your area by emailing me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Being a part of a local ward police meeting, you can help to reduce crime in your area.
Councillor Gary Malcolm,
Leader, Ealing Liberal Democrat Group