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Met Commissioner faces questions from Bromley residents

PUBLISHED: 11:25 17 May 2012

Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe with pupils from Charles Darwin School

Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe with pupils from Charles Darwin School

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The Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe took some tough questions during a grilling from Bromley and Bexley residents in Sidcup.

London’s top cop gave a presentation to around 150 people in the hall of Christ the King St Mary’s Sixth Form College, on Chislehurst Road, yesterday (16).

He also took a range of questions on residents individual complaints and more wider concerns about communication and police reliability.

The Commissioner said: “It’s hard for me to comment on individual cases but greater communication would make our jobs easier.”

Other subjects which were put to Mr Hogan-Howe included the closure of police stations and a lack of a visible police presence in the boroughs.

He said: “I can’t promise that stations that have been closed will be reopened. But we have to find savings from somewhere and front counters are a significant issue.

“It isn’t a viable option to keep a building if it costs us a lot of money.”

The meeting was chaired by James Cleverly, the London Assembly member for Bexley and Bromley, and was attended by the respective borough commanders for Bromley and Bexley, Detective Chief Superintendent Steph Roberts and Chief Superintendent Victor Olisa, and the Met’s south area commander, Commander David Zinzan.

Mr Hogan-Howe placed a great deal of emphasis on the importance of borough commanders and their importance in being a point of contact.

He said: “Borough commanders are key in giving local leadership. If we’re not giving them resources then that’s our fault, but that’s all we can do.”

He also visited Glebe Housing Association’s Adams Hall in West Wickham, and the Ringlands Riding Stables and Charles Darwin School, both in Biggin Hill.

Detective Chief Superintendent Roberts thinks the day the Commissioner spent in Bromley was a worthwhile exercise.

She said: “This was a chance for the Commissioner to hear about what different sections of the local community feel we are doing well and what we’re not doing so well.

“Meeting Londoners face-to-face is very important to me and support my vision for better communication with communities. It helped the Commissioner see how we deal with real life issues around crime in more rural wards.”

For a detailed round-up of the Commissioner’s Roadshow see next week’s Bromley Times, out on May 24.

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