Bromley council hit back against police merge plans
PUBLISHED: 17:15 15 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:15 15 February 2018
Bromley council have hit back over plans to merge the Metrolpolitan Police units of Bromley with the boroughs of Croydon and Sutton.
The cost-saving initiative, in which the current 32 borough policing model will be reduced to 12 Basic Command Units (BCU) made up of two or three boroughs, was confirmed earlier this week.
The Met faces a “significant financial challenge, alongside increasing demand,” according to Scotland Yard.
Cllr Kate Lymer has expressed concerns over the plans, stating that the council will fight the decision.
The executive councillor for public protection and safety said: “We are seriously concerned that Bromley may be left without adequate police resources as a direct result of this merger.
“We understand the need for efficiency savings and whereas the merging of command units might theoretically work in central London, where the size of areas are smaller and more manageable, this logic does not apply in Bromley’s situation.
“We know that the Met Police did learn lessons in pilot areas where response times dropped drastically but our concerns remain.”
Bromley Lib Dems launched a petition following the announcement of the merge, which comes as part of a plan to make savings of £325m by 2021/2022.
The concept of the tri-borough merger has been discussed previously, most recently in a council and scrutiny comittee meeting in January, in which it was decided that cllr Colin Smith, leader of Bromley council, would write to the Mayor for London to express ongoing concerns related to the proposed tri-borough BCU merge.
Following this week’s announcement of the plans, cllr Lymer added, “We will fight this decision - we have valued the positive relationship with the Bromley Police command team and the reductions in crime that have been achieved.
“Crime and the fear of crime are big issues for residents, and the focus of the Met Police will inevitably drift away from Bromley, with all the negative consequences this brings.
“I welcome the Deputy Mayor’s commitment to meet and discuss these very grave concerns where I will also seek reassurance that the safety of Bromley residents is given priority.”