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Local policing in Tower Hamlets loses 337 shifts a month, London Assembly reveals

PUBLISHED: 18:35 22 February 2016 | UPDATED: 18:35 22 February 2016

Met Police neighbourhood shifts lost

Met Police neighbourhood shifts lost

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Police officers are being taken away from their local beats in London’s East End and other neighbourhoods to plug gaps in public order operations elsewhere, new figures reveal.

Tower Hamlets Mayor John BiggsTower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs

Up to 337 neighbourhood policing shifts were lost from the Met’s Tower Hamlets division alone every month during 2014, according to data obtained by the London Assembly’s Labour group.

The losses continued into 2015 with 303 shifts a month being lost in the first nine months, the data shows, following HM Inspectorate of Constabulary which included the Met Police on a list of 18 forces in the country “requiring improvement” after recent inspections.

A shortage of trained detectives and basic equipment is undermining ability to reduce crime and maintain public safety, the inspectorate’s report says.

“It’s misleading to claim the officers are ‘local bobbies’ when they’re being removed from the streets so often,” Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs, who also represents east London at City Hall, said.

“People want neighbourhood police to be visible in their communities—not pulled off the beat to plug gaps in other parts of London.

“The cuts in policing have meant Tower Hamlets neighbourhood teams have already lost 224 officers since 2010. To further reduce local teams damages their capacity to look after their neighbourhoods.”

Local policing is feeling the pressure right across London, the Assembly members warn, with nearly 112,000 shifts lost in 2014—more than 2,000 a week—to prop up London-wide public order operations.

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