Cllr Charlie Dewhirst writes
At last night’s Full Council meeting the Labour administration passed a change to the Council constitution to remove the post of Director of Safer Neighbourhoods and transfer of all their responsibilities to Environmental Health. This is a disturbing development and provides a troubling insight into the local Labour Party’s priorities.
The previous Conservative administration had a very proud record on crime reduction in this borough – working with the police to reduce crime by 25% over eight years.
I did think for a while the current administration was at least giving the impression of taking crime as seriously. However, this strikes me as a particularly counter-productive decision at a time when the picture is alarming.
In the last year crime has risen overall by 4.5% across London. Robbery is up 12%, theft up 7% and sexual offences up over 9%. Moped-enabled crime has risen seven fold in the last two years to over 7,500 offences a year – more than 20 each day in the capital.
Locally in our borough, violence against the person is up more than 4%, sexual offences up 11% and robbery up by a staggering 28% in the last year. In addition, the Mayor of London is cutting the local Crime Prevention Fund in Hammersmith and Fulham by 33% next year.
Now is clearly not the time for the Council to be pushing crime down the list of priorities. Tackling crime and anti-social behaviour will be a primary focus for a future Conservative administration in Hammersmith and Fulham.