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Safer communities must start with more accessible Safer Neighbourhood Teams – Caroline Pidgeon

March 27, 2015 10:57 AM

Safer Neighbourhood Teams across the capital are still not meeting Londonwide standards for accessibility according to a new report published today by Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group.

At present the Metropolitan Police service website proudly states that every Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) "will respond to every message directed to us within 24 hours."

The reality for many members of the public is very different. Research carried out in December 2014 involving 10 per cent of London's SNTs being contacted via telephone or email has revealed:

  • The average response time for emails was 1 day, 14 hours and 28 minutes
  • The average response time for telephone calls was 1 day, 4 hours and 33 minutes
  • 19% of Safer Neighbourhood Teams did not respond to a telephone call at all.
  • Despite some improvements over the last year response times are still worse than when Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary carried out a survey in 2009.

Commenting on the report's findings Caroline Pidgeon said:

"I carried out this survey at the end of last year and whilst I recognise some improvements in response times they are still far too slow for Londoners.

"Safer communities must start with more accessible Safer Neighbourhood Teams.

"Londoners deserve a consistent level of service from SNTs across the whole of London. Accessible SNTs are essential for people to feel safe and have the confidence to immediately report lower level crimes, intelligence and anti-social behaviour in their area. I fear the Mayor's cuts and changes to SNTs including reducing the number of dedicated officers and PCSOs in wards may be part of the reason for these delays.

"It should be really quick and easy for the public to contact their SNT and get a response within 24 hours."

"In an era of smartphones the Met should also make it easier for people to get in touch through an app. Above all else the Mayor must make sure that SNTs have the dedicated officers and the technology to keep the promise of a 24-hour response to any enquiry."


Notes to editors:

An example of the current pledge by Safer Neighbourhood Teams to respond within 24-hours:

"You can contact us via e-mail or phone. As part of the policing pledge we will respond to every message directed to us within 24 hours."