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Neighbourhood safety under threat by police turnoverin London , warn Lib Dems

PUBLISHED: 01:49 25 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:59 05 October 2010

A RAPID turnover of police sergeants is undermining the success of safer neighbourhood policing, the Liberal Democrats claim. Lib Dem London Assembly spokeswoman for the Met, Dee Doocey has spoken out against the lack of continuity in neighbourhood teams

A RAPID turnover of police sergeants is undermining the success of safer neighbourhood policing, the Liberal Democrats claim.

Lib Dem London Assembly spokeswoman for the Met, Dee Doocey has spoken out against the lack of continuity in neighbourhood teams, particularly in Tower Hamlets.

Figures gathered from the Mayor of London's office reveal that 43 per cent of sergeants heading up safer neighbourhood teams have been in place for less than one year.

But Ms Doocey said that the London-wide figures hid the fact that there are much higher levels of turnover in Tower Hamlets as well as Enfield, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Harrow and Lewisham.

She said: "Something is clearly wrong when there is such rapid turnover of sergeants within so many safer neighbourhood teams.

"Staff turnover will always take place, but the current levels are far too high in too many communities.

"A good working relationship between the police and the community is absolutely essential to the success of any safer neighbourhood tam.

"Sergeants should have a detailed knowledge of the areas they police and, just as importantly, local people must have a chance to get to know the sergeant policing their area.

"Inevitably, expertise and local knowledge is lost every time a sergeant moves on, which is a serious loss to any community.

"Such high turnover of sergeants simply means safer neighbourhood policing is not reaching its true potential.

"No other profession would consider such high turnover of key staff to be acceptable. It is time the police recognised that safer neighbourhood teams rely on sergeants being based in communities for much more than just a few months."

The figures show that across London 415 safer neighbourhood sergeants have been in their post for two years or less while only 205 have been in their posts for more than two years.


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