Simon Jenkins lays into the Met in the Evening Standard tonight. He simply asks why policemen go around in pairs in London and suggests that it is the Police Federation and the Health and Safety Executive who dictate that policemen cannot go alone although most Londoners have to. Down by the river in Hammersmith I often see police horses going two at a time down Lower Mall. Now that is about £300,000 per annum of police resources strolling along having a nice chat by the river. Even the Safer Neighbourhoods ads feature two policemen!
It seems to me that two policemen patrolling together will spend most of their time chatting and miss a lot. Anyone who has travelled on their own will tell you that you meet loads more people on your own than you do as a couple. Two policemen, one each side of a busy road, will provide two sets of eyes and many more positive interactions with the public than two on the same side of the road. It is not hard. Next time you see a couple of coppers walking down the road why don’t you suggest they each walk down one side?