Mayor Rahman slams Tower Hamlets neighbourhood police ‘asset stripping’

Boris Johnson has been accused by another mayor tonight of “asset stripping” the Met Police which is causing Neighbourhood policing numbers to fall in London’s crime-ridden East End.

Six wards in Tower Hamlets have been left without a Neighbourhood sergeant and 11 support officer posts are unfilled, Labour Opposition councillors revealed yesterday. A third of the area is operating under strength, they discovered.

Tower Hamlets independent executive Mayor Lutfur Rahman this-evening publicly condemned the Tory Mayor of London for policing cuts.

“Mayor Johnson should be ashamed of his ongoing reduction in police funding,” said Mayor Rahman. “His policing policies are driven by an asset-stripping mentality rather than the need to keep people safe.”

Labour councillors who are in opposition to the Rahman administration were worried that a-third of the East End’s neighbourhood wards were without a Team sergeant, with 17 support officer vacancies unfilled.

Their Community Safety Spokesman Abdal Ullah said: “It is unacceptable that 17 positions are currently unstaffed, with police resources centrally focused on the Olympics. Neighbourhood teams and support officers will play an even more important role in policing our communities.”

Councillors are calling on the new Met Police borough commander, David Stringer, to “do everything in his power” to ensure neighbourhood policing teams are brought back to full strength.

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Meanwhile, Mayor Rahman says he has “personally intervened” by investing in a Police Partnership taskforce to ensure numbers actually go up, in addition to 14 more council Enforcement officers taken on this week.