Policing Update, November 2016

The London Assembly Police and Crime Committee’s meeting held on 6 October 2016 which was used for a question and answer session on preventing extremism are now available here.


It was clear from our session, that there are a lot of shortcomings in this programme.


Locally, I understand that the merger of Camden with Islington borough police has now gone ahead, with the new combined borough commander being Chief Superintendent Catherine Roper, who was the commander in Islington.


Mayor Khan has invited Londoners to take part in the consultation about the 2017 Police and Crime Plan which will shape the Met’s future funding and strategic direction. The public consultation closes on 16 November 2016.

The Mayor’s priorities for the next plan include the following manifesto commitments:

  • real neighbourhood policing
  • keeping young people safe
  • tackling violence against women and girls
  • hate crime and counter terrorism

The Mayor wants to hear from Londoners who had been victims of crime and those who had interacted with police, as well as finding out how safe they felt in the capital.


Lord Toby Harris’s wide-ranging review of the capital’s resilience has been published. The review was commissioned in May by the Mayor to ensure London’s emergency services had the training, equipment and funding necessary to keep London safe and respond to any incidents. In his  report he commends the services for their improved major incident readiness and says responses are now “substantially faster and more effective” than was the case five years ago. He also praises the work done by the intelligence agencies and the counter-terrorist police who he credits as being “amongst the best in the world.”


The review’s 127 recommendations aim to build on the existing resilience capability. and include trialling public alert technology, allowing authorities to alert Londoners of a major terrorist attack by sending messages to mobile devices, the permanent inclusion of the Mayor in all COBRA meetings that affect London and the installation of CCTV on all underground and mainline trains and ensuing live and recorded footage is more easily accessible to emergency services.

We questioned Lord Harris at a special meeting of the Police Committee, where I focused on his proposal that British Transport and the City of London Police forces should be merged into the Met.

In her first major interview London’s deputy mayor for policing Sophie Linden said that victims of crime would not be left to “suffer in silence” as she announced plans for an online “live chat” to provide extra support. For the full Evening Standard interview, please click here.

Ms Linden also:

  • Warned Londoners not to expect the Met to “enforce our way out of” the rise in hate crime since the Brexit vote and criticised the Government for putting communities under pressure.
  • Called for a limit on the number of armed police on London’s streets, the day before an independent review into the capital’s preparedness in the event of a terror attack.
  • Urged politicians not to be afraid to “call it like it is” on radicalisation by urging Muslim communities to do more to tackle the scourge.
  • Demanded more Manchester-style powers over criminal justice, possibly including youth offending, supporting victims and probation.

The issue of hate crime remains a serious challenge and I backed Hate Crime Awareness Week.

I have also been supporting an individual in his claim against the Met. for homophobic discrimination. He has now secured an impressive victory in this 9 year legal battle against the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and the Independent Police Complaints Authority (IPCC) with a full apology, commitment to further action, and compensation.

Assistant Commissioner Helen King has announced her retirement from the Metropolitan Police Service to be the first police officer elected to an Oxbridge College. AC King will take up the post of Principal of St Anne’s College at Oxford University in April 2017.

Also ‘retired’ is the New Scotland Yard building. After 49 years, the Metropolitan Police has moved from one of London’s most iconic buildings as New Scotland Yard’s doors were locked up for the last time in The Broadway ahead of a relocation to slimmed down offices at the Curtis Green building at Victoria Embankment .

Finally, the latest answers (and non-answers) from my policing questions at October Mayor’s Question Time.