We need BoJo’s bobbies in Southwark, says Bermondsey MP Neil Coyle

Katherine Johnston (27 August, 2019) Crime

The MP's wife was the victim of an attempted mugging last week

18677Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP Neil Coyle

Neil Coyle joined police on patrol in Bermondsey and Surrey Docks last week after calling on the home secretary to increase officer numbers in the borough.

Boris Johnson’s announcement that the government would fund an extra 20,000 police in an effort to tackle escalating violent crime across the country has been well-received, but as yet there are no firm plans where they will be stationed – and by when.

The Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP, whose own wife was a victim of an attempted mugging on Friday, spent last Tuesday evening shadowing PC Angus and PC Charlesworth as they did the rounds.

He told the News: “The officers focused on areas I have received many complaints about, including the Manor Estate and Elgar Street, where drug dealing and antisocial behaviour were disrupted.

“In Parliament I have called on the Government to give the police and councils more powers and resources to tackle antisocial behaviour to prevent it blighting people’s lives.”

“Government cuts mean we have 400 fewer police officers and PCSOs in Southwark compared with 2010.

“This has contributed to the rise in crime and fall in prosecutions. Some criminals think they can now get away with daylight robbery – literally, sadly.”

After a planned meeting with former home secretary Sajid Javid was cancelled when Johnson became PM and instated his new cabinet, Coyle wrote to Javid’s successor, Priti Patel, asking her to honour the meeting and confirm how many new bobbies will join Southwark.

In his letter, Coyle said: “I have met too many parents whose lives have been turned upside down by violent crime and there are too many families still waiting for justice whilst violent criminals are at large.

“It’s clear that our police force cannot do their jobs effectively if they do not have the right resources and powers and I hope you will commit now in your new role to honouring your predecessor’s agreement to meet local people in Southwark affected by this issue.”

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