Of­fi­cers priced out of the city

Met em­ploy­ees liv­ing out­side bor­ough

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Alexan­der Ballinger

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

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