Ken Livingstone supports Labour’s Hackney assembly candidate on policing with another attack on Mayor Boris Johnson’s record. At a ‘meet’ with police officers in south London (April 24 2012), he continued his pledge to increase police numbers and take full responsibility for the Mayor’s Office on Policing and Crime.
Speaking with East London Lines, Ken Livingstone said that in his last year as mayor crime fell 6% but has barely achieved the same fall in the last four years as Boris Johnson has taken his eye off the ball.
He said he wants to rebuild trust in the police force, repeating the claim of the Lib Dem candidate Brian Paddick that 25% of Londoners do not trust the police. The former London Mayor aims to restore trust by increasing numbers and putting a police officer in every school. He also wants to rebuild morale amongst officers, following the phone hacking investigation and allegations of racism.
Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone have clashed during the campaign over police numbers. The current Mayor maintains that there are more officers now than when he entered City Hall in 2008. But Ken Livingstone has said that they have fallen since his Tory rival has had control of the budget. The former Labour mayor has pledged to reverse 1,700 police jobs cut since 2010, which Boris Johnson says represents a natural fluctuation. The Mayor also maintains that overall crime has continued to fall, as have specific offences such as bus crime and murder.
Jennette Arnold, London Assembly member for North East London which includes Hackney, one of the boroughs worst affected by the 2011 riots, has also said that it is ‘completely unacceptable’ that police numbers have fallen by 112 since 2010 while crimes such as theft and burglary are rising in North East London.
The former London Mayor and Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper MP joined police officers on a walk around Streatham after hearing from Inspector Nick Fallowfield on tackling crime in the area. She told East London Lines that Boris Johnson is not fighting for the police, who are facing a 20% funding cut.
East London Lines Election coverage