On Saturday 17th February the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, visited Redbridge to launch Labour’s local election campaign and hear from local residents.

The Mayor stood alongside the Leader of Redbridge Council, Cllr Jas Athwal, Ilford North MP, Wes Streeting and Ilford South MP, Mike Gapes, in Clayhall Park and promised to fight the rise in crime caused by Conservative neglect.

Surrounded by supporters and concerned residents, the Mayor lambasted the £600m Government police cuts and praised the work of the Council in stepping in to fill the funding void left behind. He also pledged an additional £60m investment in the Metropolitan Police Service in order to counteract some of the Conservative Government cuts which have decimated the Police in London.

The additional £60m raised by the Mayor will make it possible to support an extra 1000 more Police Officers across London.

While in Redbridge the Mayor joined a meeting with community leaders, chaired by Cllr Jas Athwal. During the 45 minute meeting, Sadiq Khan listened to the residents concerns and experiences with crime in the borough. He commented,“Following massive government cuts to police forces over the course of nearly eight years, crime is rising across the country, particularly violent crime such as knife crime and robbery. I’m not willing to stand by when it’s the safety of Londoners being put at risk. So I’ve taken the decision to allocate funding to the Met using money collected from business rates that would normally be spent on other important
projects in London.”

Redbridge Labour Council have been working with the Mayor to tackle the rising crime rates and to keep residents safe. Although not responsible for policing, the Council have taken the unusual step of filling in gaps the Conservative government’s cuts have left in order to ensure the safety and security of local residents.

Ahead of the Mayor’s visit, the Leader of Redbridge Council, Cllr Jas Athwal pledged to invest £1.5m in new Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras to create a ‘ring of steel’ around the Borough. The cameras read vehicle registration numbers and instantly check them against a crime database meaning Police officers can intercept and stop vehicles, check for evidence and, where necessary, make arrests.

The Council have also invested £4.4m in bright LED streetlights to discourage crime and help residents feel safer when out in the evening, and tripled the number of uniformed Enforcement Officers patrolling the streets.

Cllr Jas Athwal commented, “We have already faced £600m worth of Police cuts and now the Government is planning a further £400m cuts – the results of this gutting of the police service are plain to see in Redbridge with our residents living in fear thanks to rising crime.

The Council are committed to doing everything we can to protect residents and we welcome the support of the Mayor of London. The additional 1000 officers Sadiq has promised will make a huge difference to London.”