3. Fighting Crime

“Greenwich at a glance - Male life expectancy, levels of violent crime and drug misuse, and the death rate from smoking are all worse than the average.”

(Health Profile 2009, Greenwich)

Greenwich Conservatives believe that there is a level of delusion among Labour politicians about levels of crime in this borough. They frequently boast of low crime and declining crime rates, however, the bare facts are that crime is above the national average and many residents’ experience of crime is not that it is declining. Conservatives want to be honest with the public about the situation and will take steps to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour across the whole borough.

The Facts:
  • Labour failed to respond to the consultation on closing police stations, meaning that Ken Livingstone planned to close Woolwich and Westcombe Park Police Stations. This may have been postponed currently, but it remains a Metropolitan Police plan.
  • In two wards (Eltham North and Greenwich West) Safer Neighbourhood Teams have to deal with the main shopping area and do not have time to address the needs of residents further away from the centre.
  • Conservatives support the Violent and Organised Crime Unit (VOCU) and think, to the best of our knowledge, that it is doing a good job. A Conservative Council will continue to support the VOCU and ensure its continued existence for the next four years. It costs Greenwich Council £1m per year. Labour have consistently lied in their literature that we have voted against the policy of having the Unit, three times. We voted against the general budget, of which VOCU is a part, at council, once, because the budget included an increase in Council Tax, increases in charges for services to older people and the wasteful Labour propaganda sheet, Greenwich Time.
A future Conservative Council will:- Campaign to defend Greenwich from cuts, justified by Labour on the basis that we are a low crime borough. The key to our approach will be to argue that we need all of our existing police stations and these should be properly staffed and open longer hours. We will campaign for the Mayor of London to reverse the cuts to Greenwich Police Stations proposed under his predecessor and the Labour GLA Member for Greenwich and Lewisham when he chaired the Metropolitan Police Authority.    Conservatives would also fund extra Safer Neighbourhood Teams to be based initially in the three main town centres in Eltham, Greenwich and Woolwich. We believe that each of these town centres has its own specific challenges which require attention from a dedicated police team and this would allow residential areas to get the attention they deserve.    Greenwich has failed to make use of ASBOs to deal with youth crime and we believe that dedicated Council officers need to be employed to ensure that this system is used properly and sanctions for repeat offenders are applied.   We would continue to support the VOCU and would look to increase our involvement in similar initiatives, to ensure that crime is not simply shifted from areas like Woolwich to other parts of the borough.  We would campaign for the refurbishment and replacement of Thamesmead Police Station, which is simply not equipped to provide the services required of a 21st century police force.   We would work with police to ensure it is easier to contact your local police station and to ensure that answer machines are not the only form of contact that many residents experience in their dealings with the police. We would continue and expand the programme of checking if licensed premises are selling alcohol to under-age customers and would intend to actively pursue the removal of licences where this does occur.   Conservatives would expect Council tenants to behave reasonably and would seek to move disruptive or anti-social tenants from council housing.   Conservatives remain unconvinced that Council powers to fine those who litter are being used correctly or in an organised way. We would expect park wardens & keepers (see a greener Greenwich policy) together with other Council workers to enforce fines and would put in place the legal support to enable this to happen in a more organised way.