In a letter to the local press, Cllr Rolson Davies takes Zac Goldsmith to task over crime comments.
In last week’s paper, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Richmond Park attacks Kingston’s success in achieving one of the lowest incidences of crime in London. He claims recorded crime statistics are “meaningless” because the “figures cannot take into account unreported crimes and don’t alleviate residents’ fear of crime.”
Mr Goldsmith is correct in saying that recorded crime figures are never 100% perfect, by their very nature they cannot capture crimes which are not reported by their victims – this is why we have the British Crime Survey.
This independent and comprehensive national survey shows that residents of the Royal Borough have experienced the lowest level of crime in the entire capital, as well as the second largest fall in both recorded and unrecorded incidents since 2003 - at an impressive 30.74%.
Liberal Democrat Kingston’s record on challenging problems of crime and disorder, especially in our town centres is extremely strong. We have been recognised with Government awards for success and innovation in this area. The Council works closely with local police, health services and the voluntary sector in the ‘Safer Kingston Partnership’ to co-ordinate schemes such as the ‘Behave or Be Banned’ initiative targeting anti-social behaviour in pubs and clubs, and the successful ‘Stay Safe in Kingston’ campaign.
Despite our success, the Safer Kingston Partnership is not complacent and strives to challenge every single episode of local disorder and fear of crime. I strongly recommend that the local business Mr Goldsmith’s mentions comes forward to his Safer Partnership Team to talk about how local police officers and community support officers can help: http://www.met.police.uk/teams/kingston/index.php
However, I do welcome Mr Goldsmith’s acknowledgment that local “police are stretched”. Perhaps he should bring his concerns up with the Conservative Mayor of London who has passed a budget to slash £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 we have made to keep this borough safe.
Cllr Rolson Davies
Executive Member for Community Safety
Liberal Democrat Group Rooms
Kingston upon Thames