Number of ‘BoJo’s bobbies’ coming to Southwark still unconfirmed

Katherine Johnston (04 September, 2019) Crime Politics

Southwark Police can't share any numbers or timings

16680Simon Messinger, Borough Commander of Southwark and, now, Lambeth

There is still no indication how many of Boris Johnson’s promised 20,000 extra police officers will be placed in Southwark.

As the News reported last week, Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP Neil Coyle has called on the government to make sure Southwark benefits from the Tories’ pledge, but Southwark Police were unable to confirm any details when requested this week.

Simon Messinger, commander of Southwark and Lambeth and MPS, told the News: “We continue to work with our colleagues within the National Police Chief’s Council and the Home Office over the detail of the government’s recruitment announcement and look forward to what this will deliver for London’s policing service.”

Wholesale cuts have led police and local authorities to find alternative creative funding sources for officers and enforcement activity.

As the News has reported, the new Late Night Levy, a tax on alcohol-selling businesses open after midnight, is helping to pay for police.

Although Southwark Council has cited Mr Messinger’s support as a key factor in its introduction, when asked why Southwark police support the scheme, a spokesperson declined to comment, saying the matter was a local authority decision and not a policing one.

The levy has been criticised as an indiscriminate tax on venues, whether they are responsibly or irresponsibly run.

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