Conservative reforms lead to 49 additional PCs for Greenwich

Minutes of a council meeting in March confirm have confirmed that the implementation of the ‘Local Policing Model’ has led to an additional 49 Police Constables in the Borough. 


This confirmation, made by the Borough Commander in a presentation to the Safer & Stronger Communities Scrutiny Panel in March, comes despite the Labour MP for Eltham’s electioneering using claims that police numbers have been cut.


Before the local elections, Greenwich Conservatives received complaints from New Eltham residents over a letter from Clive Efford MP, attempting to make political capital out of a spate of burglaries in their area at the beginning of this year.  During the election campaign, two letters from the Labour MP and council candidates, attempting to link the burglaries to “cuts” in the police, were delivered to residents of Montbelle, Felhampton and Charldane roads.


The minutes of the March meeting, not published until after the election but now a matter of public record, confirm that;


“The Borough Commander gave a verbal update on the ‘Local Policing Model’ and she informed the Panel that as a result of its implementation the Borough  would have 49 additional Police Constables. It was noted that 16 of these were in training and due to arrive in two months.”


The minutes also show that members were informed the increase has been such that the influx of new officers has caused challenges for the force;


“The Borough Commander acknowledged the obvious challenges arising from having so many new officers and clarified that probationer officers would be mentored by experienced ones and receive induction training.”


This was subsequently followed up by Conservative Councillor for Eltham South Cllr Matt Clare at a Full Council meeting.  The full minutes are available here


Cllr Spencer Drury said: “Despite the Labour MP’s claims, police numbers have risen across Greenwich – and crime also continues to fall year on year.  Residents will see through his constant attempts to scaremonger over this and other issues.  Sadly, I fear this is a sign of things to come as we approach the General Election.  Local residents deserve better than this.”


Deputy Leader of Greenwich Conservatives Cllr Matt Hartley, who as a candidate before the election received complaints from residents about Mr Efford’s first letter, challenged the Labour MP over his campaigning tactics at a public meeting in New Eltham at the end of April.


Matt said: “Our local police are doing an excellent job in bringing down both crime and the fear of crime – and as the Borough Commander has confirmed, we now have 49 additional PCs in the borough as a result of the recent changes.  It was extremely disappointing that Mr Efford decided to try and play politics over an issue as serious as local burglaries before the election.  Residents resoundingly rejected these low tactics at the ballot box – and I hope he will think twice before stooping to them again.”