On Friday 13th April I e-mailed Commander Hitchcock at the Met to complain that the SNT pages of the Met website have been changed to remove all named officers except the sergeants leading teams. I pointed out that this is most unhelpful from an accountability point of view. Up until now ward councillors and candidates have been able to check progress on Safer Neighbourhood Teams by looking at this site. Now their only recourse will be to phone up sergeants to check on progress.
On 10th January both the Mayor and the Commissioner announced that teams of 4 would be in place in all wards by the end of April. Does this change to the Met website mean that they are intent on not allowing us to check on the delivery of this most political of pledges in the run up to the local elections on May 4th?
I asked Commender Hitchcock to put the names back on the site. I got a reply from Chief Superintendent Stephen Bloomfield this Monday, the 24th April. He reassured me that there was nothing untoward in the fact that only the details of the ward team sergeants are shown on the website. He promised that: “the names of all the Safer Neighbourhoods Team officers will be on the website in the near future”. I have written back to Chief Super Bloomfield to suggest that the end of the month would be a suitable timetable for this task given that we were promised SNTs by the end of April by the Mayor and the Commissioner. Let’s see the beef.
The Conservatives in Ealing are right behond these teams. We feel though that it is a tad political to bring them forward very publicly so that their roll out coincides with the local elections and spend £300K of the Met’s money advertising them. Sure enough the Labour Party in Northfield has come out with leaflets saying “Thanks to Labour, Northfield now has its own dedicated Safer Neighbourhood Team”. Well yes, thanks to a Labour Mayor who is charging us all 2.75 more. We really should have a lot of extra police for the extra money we are spending.