Officers priced out of the city
Met employees living outside borough
NEW figures indicating Metropolitan Police officers are being priced out of the city and the boroughs they serve in have been published.
Figures obtained by London Assembly Member Sian Berry show that just two officers from Kensington and Chelsea live in the borough they serve, the lowest figure in the capital after Islington, which has just the one.
In neighbouring Hammersmith and Fulham, the figure stands at 10 and 14 in Westminster in Brent.
However, other west London boroughs have far higher numbers. Hounslow and Ealing each have 70, while Hillingdon has 52 officers.
The figures also show most serving officers in Hillingdon, Harrow, Hounslow and Brent do not live in London.
According to the Green Party’s Ms Berry, these figures show a lack of improvement on previous years, despite Met initiatives to recruit more officers who live in the capital.
Ms Berry said: “If the police service is to have a real understanding of London’s diverse boroughs and communities, we have to recruit and retain more officers who don’t just look like the people they serve but who come from and live in our communities.
“I believe that London needs more police who represent and understand the communities they serve, particularly those working as borough officers.”
Over recent years the Met has introduced several measures to encourage its officers to live in London, but, it appears, with little impact.
In 2014 the number living in the borough they served stood at 1,208. In 2016 the figure is 1,220. And the number living in London has risen from 8,769 in 2014 to 8,927 this year.
“With little progress made, the mayor, the Met commissioner and the new deputy mayor for policing must revisit the issue of where our police live,” added Ms Berry.
“Promises to achieve ambitious goals for ethnic and gender balance depend on making more effective plans to recruit from within London and to incentivise officers to stay in London when their family circumstances and housing needs change.”
In response, a Met spokesperson said: “We are attracting sufficient officers from inside London to meet our recruitment needs.”
It introduced a residency requirement in 2014, so all new police recruits have to have lived in London for three out of the last six years.
The spokesman added: “This was done in recognition that Londoners the knowledge and understanding of local issues, the diverse range of communities and an inbuilt insight into London’s varied cultures.” have