Wednesday, 7 August 2013

You Can Never Find One When You Need One....

So, we reach the second anniversary of the London riots of August 2011.

Its interesting to note that since then, Tower Hamlets has lost 66 police officers and 54 PCSOs. Bethnal Green and Bow were badly hit by the riots, of course.

Across the capital, some 2,500 police jobs have gone since the riots.

Now, here I will admit that I might not be the greatest admirer of London's serial killers, or the Met as they prefer to be called, but this can't be right, surely? Perhaps they have all retired sick after not deliberately killing a newspaper vendor or something, but 2,500 seems like rather a lot to me.

I note that crime figures for the Met area as a whole dropped 7% in the 6 months leading up to June 2013, as against the previous year. Possibly that might actually be a reflection of the fact that in most parts of London you can't report a bloody crime, because the nicks are all closed down!

But sadly, I note that despite this backdrop of falling crime figures - there are small drops in most categories - there is a bit of an anomaly. 'Islamophobic' crimes have risen by a startling 53.1%. This is a huge leap, and so what does it mean? It may mean an increase in the number of offences committed, it may mean an increase in the number of offences reported, or it may mean that the Met are prioritising the category.

However, I note that generally, hate crimes have fallen by percentages that reflect the overall trend.

I do not feel, as a Londoner who spends much of my time at home in the East End, including areas such as Bethnal Green and Whitechapel, any sense of tension. In fact, in those areas, and in parts of London that have traditionally had problems, and Streatham and Brixton come to mind, I feel that things are a lot more relaxed than they were maybe 10-15 years ago. An impressive drop in gun crime is testimony to how SE London has calmed down.

I really thought that as a society, and as a community, we had grown out of all of this nonsense, but this statistic of 53.1% might suggest otherwise. Perhaps we need more policemen on the beat.....

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