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Enfield calls for more police

Published Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Enfield Council is calling for more police to be deployed in the borough after serious youth violence increased by a fifth in 2014.

The borough is concerned that even though Westminster, Haringey and Lambeth were selected to take part in Operation Shield to tackle gang violence, and will be given priority from central police reserves, two of the three boroughs affected recorded smaller increases in serious youth violence than Enfield last year (Enfield 21 per cent increase, Hackney 22 per cent increase, Westminster seven per cent increase, Lambeth 10 per cent drop) and Lambeth, although it is a third the size of Enfield has almost 250 more police officers.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Community Safety, Cllr Chris Bond, said: “Our police are hard-working and dedicated professionals who do a good job in difficult circumstances, but the fundamental problem is that there are not enough of them to go round and this problem is likely to be exaggerated now that additional demands are going to be placed on them following the need for Britain to take precautions following the terrorist attacks in France and the anti-terrorism arrests in Belgium.

“Tackling serious youth violence is a labour intensive, long term project, Enfield Council puts its money where its mouth is every year and funds the Metropolitan Police to the tune of half a million pounds a year and its investment in state of the art CCTV systems to track down and prosecute offenders but residents have a reasonable expectation that the borough will receive enough resources to tackle the crimes that concern them the most, and our omission from Operation Shield and the increases in serious youth violence this year is a concern to us.

Cllr Bond added: “Historically we are good at tackling gangs and serious youth violence, but it is crucial that Enfield is allocated more police officers to help nip this increase in serious youth violence in the bud before it becomes entrenched and it becomes far more difficult to address the problem.

“The senior officers for Enfield police have been successful in bidding for extra police for a limited period starting this month, but we need something more sustained if we are to build on some local good work to protect young people."

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