At last night’s meeting of Full Council, Kingston’s Executive Member for Community Safety was asked to comment on the press comments of Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Richmond Park, Zac Goldsmith, when he said that local “police [are] stretched and not always able to respond to [incidents of recorded crime] immediately”.
Liberal Democrat councillor Rolson Davies said: “Unfortunately, I think that the parliamentary candidate is being a little disingenuous with his characterisation of the performance of local police and crime control in the Royal Borough.
“Kingston is one of the Met’s best performing boroughs when they monitor the response to emergency calls (82% of incidents are responded to within 12 minutes) and non-emergency calls (90.1% within 60 minutes) – in both cases we are well above the national targets for the Government’s ‘policing pledge’ indicators.
“As a member of the Safer Kingston Partnership, I am fully supportive of our excellent local police services, which help keep this borough one of the safest in London.”
He added: “However, I also accept that their performance – and the subsequent safety of residents and visitors to this borough would be under threat if cuts were made to local policing budgets, reducing the numbers uniformed officers and stretching their ability to respond to incidents of crime immediately.
“I would therefore suggest that local Conservatives pass Mr Goldsmith’s concerns onto the Conservative Mayor of London – who passed a budget slashing £16.4million and 455 police officers from the Metropolitan Police Service, and is enforcing a 5% cut from each of the 32 London ‘Borough Devolved Budgets’.
“Such rampant cuts could seriously undermine the progress local police, the Council and Safer Kingston Partnership have made to keep this borough safe.”