The shortage of police officers in Hackney has taken its toll on the community as the number of reported rape and hate crimes have increased.
Hackney council fear the increase in crime is a result of the 22 per cent cut within the police department, which is by far the largest cut compared to equivalent boroughs.
Deputy Mayor of Hackney, Councillor Sophie Linden said “The cuts to policing in Hackney are disproportionate. We are doing all we can to increase police numbers in the borough, including petitioning the Mayor of London.”
The Hackney Council launched the petition last year, which was also directed at the Deputy Mayor of Policing and Crime Stephen Greenhalgh and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-How for the return of 100 police officers to the community.
The number of offences, especially rape crime, has gone up. There have been a total of 227 rapes recorded in the borough compared to 180 cases last year.
The rate of Islamophobic crimes have also increased since last year. From October 2010 to 2015 the Metropolitan Police have taken 170 police officers across a range of roles in Hackney.
Although the overall crime in the borough has fallen by 34.7 per cent since 2002, Hackney Council said the long-term reduction is at risk. The most significant increase in crime includes violence with injury at 26 per cent and criminal damage at 18 per cent.
“In the past decade, crime has fallen significantly in Hackney, and overall this remains the trend. However, we are understandably concerned – and know our residents will be worried – by the increase in reports of rapes, hate and homophobic crimes.” the council said.
The council believe the Metropolitan police have failed to take into account the nine per cent increase in Hackney’s population as well as the growing popularity of the nightlife in Shoreditch.
A spokesman for the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime said: “There is always more to be done to tackle crime across the capital, which is why the Mayor is making the case to the Home Office for the right level of funding in the upcoming comprehensive spending review.”
There is also a matter of whether or not the increase of reported rapes and hate crimes since last year is an indication of residents feeling more comfortable to come forward, or if in fact it is just an increase of crime,
Linden said: “We really need to work and understand whether this is an increase in incidents or more reporting, or both. I have raised this with the Borough Commander.”