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Budget cuts mean Bromley police officers must patrol on foot
PROMISES to protect frontline policing despite cuts to the Met Police budget seem to have been broken in Bromley.
It has emerged the cuts mean Bromley police do not have the £18,000 needed to put the 120 bicycles used by safer neighbourhood teams through their annual bike maintenance checks.
This means PCSOs and other officers who would have been able to get around more quickly by bike are having to patrol on foot.
Bickley safer neighbourhood panel chairman John Bruce is concerned about the effect this is having on policing in the area.
In an email to other panel chairmen and women he said: “At a safer neighbourhood panel meeting in July I was made aware that since May almost all bicycles used by safer neighbourhood teams have been withdrawn from use as they have been deemed unroadworthy.
“I gather Councillor Tim Stevens raised the matter and was told that as this is a health and safety issue nothing could be done until the bikes were roadworthy.
“It does strike me as ludicrous that street patrolling effectiveness should be reduced so dramatically just at the time that other events (like the Jubilee and Olympics) are hitting manpower.”
Cray Valley East safer neighbourhood panel chairman Harold Barker shares Mr Bruce’s concerns.
Mr Barker said: “In the Crays we are dealing with youth crime problems and the police need to be mobile to get here when crime is happening.
“I believe if they cannot use their bikes then it will create a situation where they cannot effectively reduce crime.”
Portfolio holder for public protection and safety Cllr Stevens said: “I’m aware there is a problem with police bikes in the borough and I have taken the matter up with the borough commander who assures me there are still some bikes available for the safer neighbourhood teams to use.”
A Bromley police spokesman said: “The problem is due to a central Met Police contract and we are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.”
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