Waking up to crime

24/7 - if you can afford it

Thorough borough map.Thorough borough map.
Well how amazing, an article in the Evening Standard, 29th April 2008, explains how a 24 hour approach to policing in one London Borough, Hammersmith and Fulham, has brought forth positive results. It seems that 31 extra officers have had a valuable impact on crime levels. The article carries the following quote from Greg Smith, Hammersmith and Fulham's cabinet member for crime and anti-social behaviour,

He said: "After 12 months of having local beat bobbies patrolling the streets, day and night, every day of the year, we have seen a 41 per cent drop in robberies in Shepherd's Bush and a phenomenal 188 per cent increase in drug arrests in Fulham. We now need to build on this performance in our second year."

See full article HERE

In the old days. In the old days.
However, ordinary citizens in towns and cities across the UK may wonder at the notion that crime went to bed at night for surely crime, for both the practitioner and the police, has always been a 24 hour affair. So when, and who, decided otherwise? We are also told that the scheme is to cost £4 million over 4 years and that the funding came from 'the local authority and the private sector'. This implies that this was money in addition to the normal funds for this service that come from Council Tax. Is somebody paying twice? You would have thought that the notion of an upgrade, airline style, to a first class service, is all very well but what about those people stuck with the 'bog standard' option for policing?

Hammersmith and Fulham's spokesman, Mr Smith, also said he found the results of this scheme "very encouraging".

So do we. But perhaps less encouraging is the follow up statement that concludes the Evening Standard article.

If successful, the scheme could be rolled out into other areas.

telephone call required telephone call required
The word, could, seems to be the trip-wire here, for does this expansion of the new policing scheme all depend upon fewer people staying with the bog standard service and, if so, where does the 'extra' money to pay for it come from? In his bid to become Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has rightly placed dealing with crime as one of his major concerns. So Greg Hands, the Conservative MP for Hammersmith and Fulham, should give Boris a call today, be bold and ask outright for the funds, funds for Hands, a memorable and catchy line, job done!