Susan Hall promises 1,500 new Met Police officers and slams Sadiq Khan

Susan Hall, London mayoral candidate for the Conservative Party in glasses and a blue blazer
Susan Hall has said sh'ed keep police stations open -Credit:JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Sadiq Khan's Conservative rival for London's mayoralty, Susan Hall, has vowed to recruit 1,500 new police officers and maintain two police bases in every borough if she were elected on May 2.

Ms Hall says she would 'boost the number of bobbies on the beat', reopen closed stations, and keep residents safe.

Her plan would see two police bases opened in every borough, which would help to address, she claims, the 36 police stations closed under Mr Khan. Ms Hall adds that new officers would help stop crimes and 'rebuild trust' with communities.

But a spokesperson for Labour's City Hall incumbent has hit back, saying the Conservative candidate is making 'bogus unfunded pledges she simply can’t deliver'. Mr Khan's team adds that, despite cuts to the Metropolitan Police Service's budget, the mayor has 'ensured every London borough has kept open a police front counter'.

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Rubble in Eltham after police station demolition
Eltham's police station has been demolished -Credit:Google

Speaking this morning (Wednesday, April 10) at the site of the former police station in Eltham, Ms Hall described closures of police bases as 'disgraceful and dangerous'. She also said that police officers are often having to be based 'miles away from the communities they serve'.

In addition, Ms Hall promised that she would 'halt the closure of any further police stations' that she says would providing 'more security for locals currently at-risk of crime'.

Londoners 'at the mercy of criminals'

Ms Hall, said: “Londoners have been forced to watch as Sadiq Khan has shut down police stations, leaving us at the mercy of criminals. Every day, when I listen to Londoners across the city, I hear and feel their fear about spiralling crime affecting them, their families and their local communities.

"If you place your faith in me as mayor, I will stop the closure of any further police stations, open two police bases in every single borough to ensure there is always a police presence local to you, and I will recruit 1,500 new police officers, getting them back on the beat fighting crime.

"It is just not good enough for Sadiq Khan to underfund our police, when he has poured millions down the drain on beach parties, trade union bailouts and PR stunts. No mayor should ever prioritise saving money over saving lives, and that is precisely why we need to vote for change on May 2.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper during a walkabout with police officers
Sadiq Khan's team says that Ms Hall is making 'bogus unfunded pledges' -Credit:Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

A spokesperson for Mr Khan said: “The Tory candidate is making bogus unfunded pledges she simply can’t deliver. The Tories have cut £1bn from the Met budget in real terms since 2010, and the last Tory Mayor Boris Johnson closed over 60 police stations when he was Mayor.

"Due to Tory funding cuts, Susan’s Hall unfunded commitments are based on money that simply doesn’t exists. This mayoral election is a clear choice between Sadiq investing in 1,300 more police officers and youth clubs in London, or the hard-right Tory candidate who has backed huge cuts to London’s vital public services, and whose sums simply don’t add up."

Mr Khan has also pledged more police officers

Mr Khan has said that he is investing a record £151 million in this year’s budget for policing and crime prevention. He has also pledged to deliver an additional 1,300 PCSOs and special constables on London streets if were re-elected.

The mayor told MyLondon in March that he is treating crime as if it were an 'infection'. He said: "It's what we call a public health approach - dealing with violent crime like you would an infection. Stop with infection occurring in the first place, deal with the infection, stop the infection spreading."

Mr Khan added that there is a 'black hole' of more than £200 million in the Met's budget.

A Home Office spokesperson said at the time: “We are giving the police the resources they need to tackle crime, and through our police recruitment campaign we have more police officers in England and Wales than ever before.

"The Metropolitan Police is the highest funded force in England and Wales, receiving over a third more funding overall than similar areas like Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool.

"Decisions about how funding and resources are utilised in London is a matter for the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and the democratically elected Mayor of London.

"They will receive up to £3.5 billion in 2024/25, an increase of up to £119 million on the previous year, which includes £185 million in recognition of the increased demands the force faces from policing the capital city.”

In 2017, the Greater London Authority said in reply to a petition to keep Eltham Police Station open: "Just eight per cent of crimes were reported at police front counters in 2016, down from 22 per cent in 2006, and this number continues to fall. Every pound that is spent keeping a police station open is a pound that would otherwise need to be found from further cuts to police officer numbers."

Read our exclusive sit-down interview with Sadiq Khan ahead of the London mayoral election here. Read our full chat with Susan Hall here.

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