We welcome Southwark’s new borough commander, Simon Messinger, who took up his role in July – a man who has lived and breathed policing in the borough since he was a teenager.
For years now, our interviews with the new commanders have followed a well-worn path. With a backdrop of cuts in funding, all the person in the hot seat can do is say that policing will be more focused and that ‘restructuring’ will not be allowed to impact on frontline services. Policing will be intelligence-led and community-focused.
There’s nothing wrong with this approach, and effective use of resources is what the public need and expect from their police. But of course we all know that more money in policing would mean more effective policing, full stop.
What is important is that the new commander has many years’ experience of working in the borough – he hasn’t just been parachuted into a borough that still suffers high levels of crime – with two murders in the past week. Mr. Messinger’s knowledge of the borough and its problems gives him a flying start to what can only be described as a very tough job.