Barnet Conservatives have criticised Labour’s Mayor of London for overseeing a huge surge in violent crime in the borough.
Official figures released on Thursday showed crime as a whole rose 4 per cent in Barnet. But there were alarming spikes in violent crimes such as robbery up 53 per cent, vehicle theft up 52 per cent, burglary up 26 per cent, violence with a weapon up 20 per cent and rape up 15 per cent.
Cllr David Longstaff, chairman of Barnet Council’s community leadership committee, said the Mayor had left the borough underpoliced through his mismanagement of the Metropolitan Police’s resources.
He said: “These statistics will terrify most Barnet families, not least because we have the fewest police officers per head of any London borough, despite making the biggest contribution to the Met budget.
“Labour’s Mayor will no doubt try to blame the Government. But his mismanagement of the Met’s resources, as evidenced by the Inspectorate of Constabulary, means he wastes the money he already gets.
“He’s hiked Council Tax bills twice in two years in the name of maintaining police numbers but there are now 2,000 fewer officers in the Met and only one police station left in Barnet. Taxpayers’ money just seems to slip through his fingers.”
Under Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson, the Inspectorate of Constabulary ranked the Met ‘Good’ for efficiency in 2014, 2015, and 2016, in line with London’s surrounding Conservative-run police forces. In 2017, a year into the Labour Mayor’s term, it was downgraded to ‘Requires Improvement’.
Cllr Longstaff also criticised Barnet Labour’s plans as profligate and irresponsible.
He said: “Barnet Labour want to raid our reserves for almost £2 million to buy police officers from the Mayor — for just three years. Do they plan to make them redundant at the end of those three years? Or will they hike Council Tax for hard-pressed Barnet residents who have already paid for them several times over?
“I urge residents to vote Conservative on May 3rd to send a message to the Mayor that we want our fair share of police officers, and we want it now.”
- The Met’s year end crime statistics for 2017/18 were published on Thursday 26th April here: https://www.met.police.uk/stats-and-data/year-end-crime-statistics/
- Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary’s PEEL assessments into the Metropolitan Police for 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014 can be viewed here: https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/peel-assessments/peel-2017/metropolitan/
- Barnet Labour’s alternative manifesto identified £518,750 to be taken from the Council’s reserves in 2017/18 to fund additional police officers as part of a “3 year project”.
- Barnet has 736 residents per police officer. This is the most residents per officer in London. Camden, for example has 365 residents per officer.
- Barnet’s MOPAC (Mayor’s Office for Policing & Crime) precept from 2017/18 Council Tax bills raised £28,662,170.37 — the most of any London borough.
- The precept was raised by 5.8 per cent in 2018/19, raking an extra £2 million from Barnet taxpayers.