Eltham needs fair share of extra 20,000 police officers

By | October 29, 2019

Following the Home Office announcement of an extra 20,000 police officers to be recruited across every police force in England and Wales, Eltham Conservative Parliamentary Candidate Louie French has asked for South East London to get its fair share.

The Home Office has today confirmed the officer recruitment targets for every police force in England and Wales for the first year of the unprecedented drive to increase their ranks by 20,000 over the next 3 years.

London’s Metropolitan Police force has been allocated almost 7% (1,369) of the new police Officers, but when Louie French asked Greenwich Council’s Labour leadership whether they had lobbied to ensure Eltham got its fair share, they did not provide an answer. Louie raised the question of extra police officers for Eltham at last week’s ‘Eltham and Shooters Hill’ Better Together meeting but the Labour Councillors in charge chose not to respond directly to his question.

Strengthening police numbers is a priority for the government, which is providing £750 million to support forces to recruit up to 6,000 additional officers onto our streets by the end of 2020 to 2021, the first stage in this new uplift. This is thanks to the additional funding announced by the Chancellor in the Spending Review.

The Home Secretary Priti Patel has said “The public are clear they want to see more police officers on their streets, whether they live in the city or the countryside.  This is the people’s priority and it is exactly what the government is delivering.

All officers recruited as part of the 20,000 uplift will be additional to those hired to fill existing vacancies. They are also on top of the extra officers already being recruited because of the £1 billion increase in police funding for 2019 to 2020, which includes money from council tax and for serious violence.”

The announcement of extra police follows the establishment of a £25 million Safer Streets Fund which aims specifically to provide extra funding to prevent burglary and theft in crime hotspots through initiatives that could include interventions to improve home security, such as installing better locks and gating alleyways, and making streets better lit at night, for example.

The Home Office has also announced £10 million of funding to increase the number of officers carrying Taser to keep themselves and the public safe and confirmed plans for a police covenant that will focus on the physical protection of officers, their health and wellbeing and support for their families.

Louie French with supporters at the Coldharbour & New Eltham Police base.

Eltham Conservative Parliamentary Candidate Louie French said “Boris Johnson’s government is doing the right thing by supporting the police with extra funds for more officers and initiatives like the Safer Streets Fund to help prevent burglary.  However, I was surprised that Greenwich Labour could not confirm that it has asked or will ask for these funds to come here, which means our part of South East London may not get its fair share.

If I am elected to be Eltham’s MP, I will make getting our fair share of extra police resources a priority so that our communities are safer and our hard working local police teams are better supported.  As your MP, I will also work to make sure that Eltham Police Station is reopened fully, as we’ll need somewhere to put all the extra police officers the Government are recruiting!”

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About Spencer Drury

Spencer was one of the three Councillors for Eltham North Ward between 2002 and 2022. He lost his Council seat in the May 2022 elections and now occasionally contributes to debates on local issues.

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