Mayoral candidate, Farah London, visited every Police station across London, including New Scotland Yard, over two days to hand deliver freshly baked doughnuts. The treats, decorated with the words ‘thank you’ and ‘hero’, were a gesture of acknowledgement by Ms. London of a Police force she believes to be under resourced, hardworking and neglected by the current Government. Ms London thanked many Officers in person and offered them her full support to improve their working conditions.
“Obviously our Police deserve more than doughnuts. I had the privilege of meeting officers from across London in all the boroughs. They have been doing an outstanding and difficult job working on the frontline during the pandemic. If anyone deserves a pay increase, it’s them. I am appalled that the Chancellor is threatening to deny them a well-earned pay rise.”
Ms London’s appreciation for the efforts of our Police is in contrast to the Chancellor’s announcement last week of a public sector wage freeze, which will directly impact the entire force. Ms London is a vocal advocate for the Police and will implement initiatives to significantly strengthen their working conditions and benefits as the next Mayor of London. The benefits include private medical care, access to private counsellors, gym membership and a congestion charge exemption for Officers stationed within the charge zones.
“Physical and mental wellbeing is critical for the Police to be able to perform their duties and protect the community. Frankly, they are not getting the support they need. Not from the Mayor’s office or from the broader Government. I want to ensure our Officers have access to the right equipment, training, and workplace conditions. They are a fundamental part of our society and deserve recognition and the full support of Government for their immense contribution to keeping us safe.”
Since 2012, police stations across London have been progressively closed. The pace of closures has accelerated under the current Mayor, who shut down 38 of the remaining 73 stations and announced further police budget cuts of £110 million in June 2020. All at a time when crime in London crime has been sharply increasing year on year since 2016.
“There is a divide between our community leaders and the Police. I will address this by ensuring they work hand in hand to tackle crime at its source.”
There has also been community backlash towards the Police powers for ‘stop and search’ which, despite problems, have been proven to save lives. Ms London will ensure Officers are equipped with special handheld devices, designed to automatically detect weapons such as knives, and illegal substances. This will make stop and search encounters less invasive while safeguarding the community, particularly from youths carrying weapons and the escalating levels of knife crime.
Ms London also plans to introduce a program to provide vulnerable youths with direct and free access to community based vocational training, including talent and sporting academies. The objective being to fracture gang culture by empowering the city’s young to choose new and productive pathways.
According to Ms London, tackling crime will require ‘zero tolerance’ of verbal or physical abuse of Officers. She is concerned with how the Police are treated and will implement policies to ensure their protection from aggravated abuse and that perpetrators do not escape prosecution. She will also actively lobby for tougher sentences.
“You shouldn’t be able to attack a Police Officer in London, verbally or physically, with impunity. Upholding law and order is critical to the well-being of residents and the future of our city.”
Ms London proposes to immediately engage an additional 6,000 Police to bolster the existing force. In addition, she will initiate a recruitment program to scale up the number of Special Constabulary Officers (Specials) available to support and work with their local Police and commence building effective relations with the community.