Ealing’s Borough Commander, Collette Paul, wasted the opportunity to give us some facts this morning. She got a letter published in the Ealing & Acton Gazette’s “Letter of the week” spot. In it she claimed she wanted to clarify the position on Safer Neighbourhoods. The only fact she offered was that there have only been 8 wards in Ealing with Safer Neighbourhood Teams up until recently. After that the facts dried up because they do not look pretty. Apparently she is going to launch the new teams on 3rd April at the Town Hall. She did not say when so I guess that we are not invited.
I wrote to her on 3rd February to get the facts regarding Elthorne, Northfield and Walpole and their teams. After a second letter I got a call from an Inspector Elbourne on 27th February. He assured me that there would be teams of four in place in each of these three wards by 27th March. Checking the Met website today it appears that although the Walpole team seems to be fully staffed the Elthorne team is short two PCSOs and Northfield is short one. It is not that these teams are not welcome. They are. But a promise is a promise.
The GLA precept has gone up 175% since 1999. The Met Police are spending Â£300,000 advertising these teams right now. So we are paying for these teams, we are being told that they are here but they are not in place. It is even worse in other boroughs. Paul was planning to bring these teams in early so we are not as badly off as some. Chatting to a couple of PCSOs in Hammersmith this week they related that there were four wards with nothing at all in Hammersmith and Fulham.