Response to knife and violent crime
At the Full Council meeting (Wednesday 25th July) the Liberal Democrat Council Group put down an amendment with some positive suggestions about how we can strengthen our communities and reduce the shockingly high levels of knife crime and knife injuries that currently exist in Southwark.
Our primary suggestion was for Southwark Council to recruit extra police officers under the Met Patrol Plus scheme, whereby the Mayor will match fund any additional police officers the borough pays for, effectively a “buy one get one free” scheme.
Our rational for calling on the administration to consider this option is that crime is increasing across London and we believe that with three young people murdered in our borough over the last three months, that the Council has a shared responsibility with the police to make tackling violent crime a key priority. We cannot allow the situation to continue, where over the last 12 months in Southwark, there have been 805 knife incidents (2nd highest in London) and 272 knife injuries (highest in London).
I regret to say some Labour colleagues appeared to be more interested in making political points about the Liberal Democrats in government than coming together to consider what more we can collectively do to tackle this problem.
No one is suggesting that this alone will solve the complex problem of violent crime, but we are all agreed that the police are stretched to capacity at the moment, and a practical solution of creating a dedicated Violent Crime Unit of officers under the authority of the Borough Commander, is something that deserves serious consideration.
In Tower Hamlets the council has recruited extra police officers under the Met Patrol Plus scheme and is spending £1m a year, on a three year contract, for a Partnership Task Force. In 2016-17 the Taskforce made 155 arrests and the Council expanded their scheme in July 2017.
This coupled with our suggestions for increasing partnership working with the voluntary and charity sectors to increase the number of active citizens in our borough and launching a civic pride campaign, along the lines of People Make Glasgow and We Love Manchester, are additional measures the Council can take to ensure the Council is playing its part in making Southwark a stronger, safer and more resilient borough.
Our Council motto is “United to Serve” and on an issue as important as this our residents expect no less of us.
Cllr David Noakes, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrat Council Group and Cllr William Houngbo, Spokesperson for Community Safety
Editor’s Note: The News will be interviewing both Labour and Lib Dems on the motion, which will be in next week’s edition and online.
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No to Heathrow Expansion?
I was deeply disappointed and saddened that my MP Neil Coyle voted for The Heathrow Airport expansion project
Especially considering the amount of air,noise and other environmental damage we already have in the borough of Southwark.
I suffer from COPD and I am sure that there are many more like me who have similar health complaints
I would have expected him to have voted against this project, as it is estimated that this project would increase air traffic by about 30 per cent. That is not even taking in to account the increase in traffic to and from the airport.
I did send him an email asking not to vote for this,but it fell on deaf ears.
He also has stated on many occasions that he would not vote for anything that would damage his constituents,- is this hypocrisy or not?
I have sent him emails asking him to explain why he voted this way ,but he has failed to reply. This has left me no alternative but to take this issue up with the press.
I will give him his due and say that he has answered some of my emails, although Simon Hughes always answered all my emails promptly, even through I was a Labour supporter. I have always voted for Neil Coyle at the General Elections and even at his selection ballot which he won by one vote.
Martin McGinty, Rotherhithe