Lib Dem GLA candidate Hina Bokhari

South West London Debate: ‘public health approach’ needed on policing and crime

The Liberal Democrats and Green Party agreed on a public health approach is needed regarding policing in the Capital.

Hina Bokhari, from the Liberal Democrats, wants to tackle crime through local police officers, doubling the number of local ward officers and building up relationships within the community.

“People need to feel like they can go up to the police at any time,” said Bokhari.

Across London 106 police stations have been closed in the last ten years.

Following a campaign by Merton councillor Paul Kohler, the Liberal Democrats were able to save Wimbledon Police Station in 2018.

Hannah Graham, from the Green Party vowed that a Green mayor would bring more officers into local wards, sustainably building a safer local community, with local police teams being the priority.

“It is about supporting communities, tackling root causes,” said Ms Graham.

Graham claimed the Green Party would put more resources into domestic and sexual violence.

The Labour Party’s Leonie Cooper argued that the suggestion policing numbers could match those in 2011 was unrealistic following the budget cuts that took place in 2010.

“The only reason there has been any increase towards the 30,000 officers we need is because Sadiq Khan has increased council tax,” claimed Ms Cooper.

Cooper claimed budget cuts by the Conservative government has caused a rise in knife crime since 2014.

According to Cooper, Sadiq Khan has been leading from the front when it comes to tackling crime. £60million has invested in fighting violence, especially against girls and women.

“London is less safe, robbery is up 86% and knife crime by 60%,” said Louise Calland from the Conservatives.

Calland says the Conservatives would be committed to putting 8,000 new police officers on the street and 500 new officers on transport following a 43% rise of sexual assault on the tube.

“The money is there but it’s a matter of priority,” said Calland.

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