Policing report from City Hall, December 2016

Building on last month’s informal consultation, the most important development this month was the publication for consultation of the Mayor’s draft Police and Crime Plan. The consultation period ends on the 23 February 2017.


The Police & Crime Plan will determine, direct and communicate the Mayor’s policing and crime priorities for his period in office (from 2017-21).


Core elements include: a return to real neighbourhood policing; improved standards across policing and criminal justice; improving services for victims of crime; urgently addressing knife crime; protecting children and young people; tackling domestic violence and violence against women and girls; dealing with hate crime and radicalisation; pressing for   devolution of the criminal justice system; and a  police force that reflects London’s diversity.

You can say what you think about the draft Police and Crime Plan in a few ways:

Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime
City Hall
The Queens Walk
London SE1 2AA


A final version of the Police and Crime Plan for London will be published by the end of March 2017.


It would also be helpful if you copied me in to any response as Assembly  Member and member of the Police and Crime Committee at City Hall.


Borough mergers are being piloted in amongst other places, Camden and Islington. For the Met.’s explanation of what this is about, please click here. Each merged  BCU will be led by an interim commander, a chief superintendent who will be supported by four superintendents. Each borough within the BCU will have a dedicated superintendent. Superintendents will have cross borough leadership for one of the core local policing functions: neighbourhoods, response, investigation and protecting vulnerable people.


People, buildings, technology and vehicles will all be shared across the boroughs within the BCU.

This change will not impact upon our commitment to increase Dedicated Ward Officers (DWOs) from one to two in each ward as announced earlier this year. In the test sites, the numbers of DWOs will be increased further as well as an increase in the number of officers dedicated to working with young people


At MQT I raised the damning Henriques report into the Met.’s investigation of historic sexual abuse cases.


This was the last Police and Crime Committee Q and A session with the Commissioner, before he retires next year. The Deputy Mayor for Policing was also in attendance. I particularly focussed again on Henriques; as well as questioning them about the Harris review into terrorism preparedness.

On a similar theme, the Met. has apologised for failing to protect children and pledged to reform itself after a scathing report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary said three-quarters of the 384 cases it examined were substandard in the way the Met. investigated children at risk of abuse. In more than 10% of the cases problems were so alarming there was ongoing risk to child safety.

In response, the Mayor has announced a detailed and wide-ranging action plan to address the failings, including a new independent group of child protection experts and academics to drive the oversight and change necessary to ensure that children in our city are not let down when they are most vulnerable. The group will include Alex Marshall, from the College of Policing, and a representative from the National Police Chief’s Council.


We had a short session on this at 1st December Police Committee, and will return to the subject in detail at our next full meeting.


Also at 1st December Committee, I raised the cost to the Met of policing football matches that is not refunded by the professional clubs, especially in the Premiership. I questioned Commander BJ Harrington (formerly police chief in Camden) and Baroness Karen Brady Deputy Chair of West Ham, amongst others, about this.


Altogether, if the Premier league clubs fully reimbursed the cost, we would be able to afford the equivalent of between 90 and 100 or so police officers across London – and that is without adding in the huge extra commitment by British Transport Police on the tube and at railway stations! The West Ham vs Chelsea game alone required almost 500 officers: the equivalent to almost the total strength of the police in Barnet. I also raised this issue with questions at MQT (see below). This is a campaign I will continue to run.


Our  Police and Crime Committee  report – ‘Violence Against Women and Girls’  – examines the detail behind the rise in reports, the support available to victims and the ways in which organisations are working together to prevent it.


  • Reports of violence against women and girls (VAWG) have been increasing in London for the last four years.
  • Reported rapes and other sexual offences have increased by 11 per cent year on year.
  • Recorded domestic offences have increased by 57 per cent compared to four years ago.


It highlights that increased reporting of violence against women and girls has not translated into action against perpetrators and it explores the reasons behind this trend.


The extra pressure on police and support services has resulted in the gap widening between the number of reports of violence against women and girls being received and the number of individuals being charged or receiving another sanction. This could lead to a loss of confidence in reporting.


We suggest the Mayor can play a significant role in making London a safer city for women and girls. Having made a public commitment to tackle VAWG, the Mayor should use his influence over the Met’s budget to make policing and support services better meet demand.
The Mayor of London has recently announced an investment of more than £4 million to help tackle sexual abuse in London. Sadiq Khan said his new Police and Crime Plan, to be published shortly, would put victims and their needs ‘at the heart’ of his strategy.

Each year around 24,000 adults in London experience serious sexual assault or rape. Whilst reporting has increased, support for survivors through the criminal justice process is patchy across the city.  The Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) is working with NHS England to develop a new model for sexual abuse services in London, in partnership with existing providers. The Mayor has extended funding for three London Sexual Assault Referral Centres (Havens) and four London Rape Crisis Centres for an additional year until March 2018, when anew integrated service model will be in place.


I attended meetings of Barnet’s and of Camden’s Safer Neighbourhood Boards.


As usual, I had a range of policing questions at Mayor’s Question Time, as set out below. (If there any issues you would like me to raise at future MQTs, please let me know). You will see that one of my focuses this time was on the cost to the Met of policing football matches (see above)