Since 2010 – the year Greg Hands was elected as the Tory MP for Chelsea & Fulham – the Conservative Government has slashed billions in funding and cut tens of thousands of police officers’ across the country. These cuts have left our communities exposed and recorded crime is rising at the fastest rate in a decade.
In Chelsea & Fulham, the situation was made even worse by the decision to close Fulham Police Station due to severe cuts to police funding. The Tories will have cut £1 billion from the Metropolitan Police by 2020.
Even though funding the police is a national responsibility, Hammersmith & Fulham’s Labour council was not willing to stand by and leave residents vulnerable at the hands of the Conservatives. That is why we stepped in and invested millions of pounds in record numbers of extra, council-funded police officers and new CCTV cameras.
The moment I was elected as a Labour Councillor in Sands End, I set about increasing the number of CCTV cameras protecting residents. I meet with the local police and residents regularly to ask them where they would like new cameras to be positioned, and there are now well over 100 cameras in the ward. They are making a real difference -preventing crime, deterring anti-social behaviour and tracking repeat perpetrators.
By way of example, I arranged for new CCTV cameras to be positioned on and around Townmead Road in Sands End in Fulham, after the police explained to me that it would assist their work. Within days, the CCTV cameras achieved their first result and the police were able to successfully track an individual who had produced a knife in an attempted robbery. Within minutes, he had been followed on the cameras and arrested – all thanks to Labour councillors listening to residents’ concerns, acting on those concerns and supporting our hard-working police.
There are plans for more CCTV cameras in Sands End and indeed across Labour run Hammersmith & Fulham Council. That’s the difference between the Tories and Labour: Labour make every effort possible to protect our community, supporting the police. The Conservatives make every effort to cut police numbers to the bare bone due to austerity, leaving Chelsea & Fulham residents vulnerable to crime.