Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest snubbed as extra police promised for London

Waltham Forest will not receive any of the 500 new police officers being permanently deployed to town centres across London. Waltham Forest Council leader [...]

Hero for Waltham Forest snubbed as extra police promised for London
Stock image (Met Police)
By Waltham Forest Echo 06 October 2021

Waltham Forest will not receive any of the 500 new police officers being permanently deployed to town centres across London.

Waltham Forest Council leader Grace Williams said she was “extremely disappointed” at the news and is writing to both Met Commissioner Cressida Dick and the Mayor of London to demand an explanation.

Nineteen town centres in seventeen boroughs will receive extra officers by spring next year, while a further 150 will join ward officers around London.

A press release issued by the Met Police on 5th October stated the officers “will work solely in busy public places and other areas, including those where women and girls often feel unsafe”.

Grace Williams told the Echo: “I am extremely disappointed that the Metropolitan Police have chosen to ignore Waltham Forest and its residents in announcing additional officers for town centres today.  

“Residents of Waltham Forest know we already get short changed when the Met allocates officers in the capital. To then wake up to the news that extra officers have been assigned across the capital and the borough doesn’t get a single one is infuriating.  

“I am writing to the Met Commissioner Cressida Dick and Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, to ask them to explain how these officers were allocated, as the people of Waltham Forest have a right to know why we aren’t seen as a priority.

“[This] news will further underline the feeling that our residents are not being heard by those making these decisions. The Met must have a fair and transparent process for allocating officers to ensure the confidence of all Londoners.”

In its press release, the Met explained that its decision about where to allocate more officers was “led by data and intelligence”.

They explained the chosen town centres are locations that either “generate the most policing demand”, have “higher crime levels” or “where confidence in police is low”.

Met Police assistant commissioner Nick Ephgrave added: “We want communities to regularly see and get to know their local officers, so that they trust and have confidence in them, knowing they are there to protect and keep them safe.”

The highly publicised move comes after widespread criticism of police due to the trial of Wayne Couzens, who abused his authority as a then-officer to kidnap and murder Sarah Everard.

The town centre teams will typically be made up of one inspector, two sergeants and 21 police constables, although this can be adjusted depending on local demand.

Within east London, extra teams will be placed in Ilford, Barking, Shoreditch and Stratford.