A police inspector denied ringing the force was “pointless” at a Lee Green assembly meeting last week.

And Inspector Benn Pollard, from the South East borough command unit (BCU), promised policing numbers in the borough would be “back up to previous levels”.  

Inspector Pollard, who heads Lewisham’s safer neighbourhood team, spoke about the cuts to police but promised the borough would see more numbers.  

“Part of that process resulted in the senior management structure being slimmed down. 

“Now we have one borough commander, we have a number of superintendents, and three chief inspectors.  

“There used to be three of me looking after Lewisham, there’s now one of me with 120,000 households. 

“It’s quite a significant change, it takes a lot of my time and I’m trying to get around everybody, the different ward groups and ward panels, trying to reach out and engage with you,” he told the assembly. 

He urged the public to “play its part” as the “vast majority of intel” comes from residents.  

But one man at the meeting said it was “pointless” to call the police if there were not enough staff.

He said: “It’s gone down from three of you, the crime rates seem to be going up. 

“If everyone reports it you’re going to need more people.  

“It’s pointless us doing that if you’ve got no one there to actually act on the information that’s being given to you.” 

Inspector Pollard said the man was “100 per cent right” and that numbers in policing have been cut “to save money”.  

But he added: “That’s now on the change, we’re recruiting again and the Government has promised to increase officer numbers on the street. 

“Please report everything to us. It’s not pointless, I can assure you of that, because without it we wouldn’t have the intelligence picture that we require to be able to police your communities. 

“We are actively building a new team for the next neighbourhood tasking team, which is going to be one sergeant and an additional ten police officers. 

“Their role is going to be to operate around Lewisham and their sole focus will be based on the intel that comes in. 

“It will be down to them to deliver a proactive, high visibility response to the problems that are being faced. 

“Resources are on the increase, it’s 100 per cent valuable that you report everything to us because we couldn’t do our job if we didn’t have the intel coming in.  

“I can’t guarantee that we’ll solve it overnight in terms of numbers in policing but, to give you a rough idea, we have 40 new police officers coming through to our BCU every three months.  

“So that number is increasing quite rapidly and soon we’ll have a full contingent where we can operate to similar levels that you saw previously.”