Brent could lose 19 police officers

A recruitment freeze could cost Brent 19 police officers

Up to 19 police officers could be lost in Brent after a recruitment freeze was enforced by the Metropolitan Police.

The freeze, which is outlined in the Metropolitan Police Authority’s quarterly finance report, means that across London around 900 fewer officers will be recruited by March next year than originally anticipated.

When this trend is applied to Brent recruitment projections the figure works out as 19.

Navin Shah, London Assembly member for Brent and Harrow, claimed the freeze could jeopardise police progress in reducing crime.

Mr Shah said: “I am deeply concerned.

“Locally the police have worked very hard to get Brent to the level that there has been an improvement in the level of crime locally compared to a few years ago.

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“But during a recession communities in deprived areas like Brent are under greater pressure and this can lead to a rise in crime.

“The ability of borough commanders to effectively fight this is being undermined by these cuts to officer numbers. This is the wrong time to make these cuts.”

Crime has increased over the past year in Brent with more than 29,000 incidents recorded compared to just over 27,000 the year before.

Stonebridge, Harlesden and Wembley Central are the areas with the highest amount of recorded crime, according to Metropolitan Police Authority figures.

However Suresh Mamtora, the resident’s chairman of the Fryent ward Safer Neighbourhood Team Panel, said the halt in recruitment was sensible at a time where everyone was having to tighten their belts.

Mr Mamtora, who is also chairman of the Springfield Estate Residents Association, which has been targeted by gangs committing anti social behaviour, said: “In the scheme of things 20 is not a huge number.

“As far as our own ward is concerned we seem to be fully manned.

“I think is think it is quite sensible to halt recruitment while savings need to be found, to be honest.”