|High Visibility Jackets For Council Workers|
A 'cheap gimmick' say the Tories
Conservatives have dismissed Labour’s plans to take action on crime by putting more uniformed officers on the streets as nothing more than a cheap gimmick.
Labour has revealed that they will be purchasing high visibility vests for 60 existing council employees.
Cllr John Cowing, Conservative Spokesman on Crime said:
“Most people would assume uniformed officers to mean Police Officers or Police Community Support Officers, not Council staff dressed up in high visibility vests.
''This is an example of Labour spin at its worst. It is nothing but a cheap Labour gimmick. The only winners will the criminals and deviants who commit crime and anti- social behaviour. This stunt will not reassure the residents of the borough, but will serve to undermine existing Police Officers and PCSO who are being cut from 43 to 19, at a time when crime remains the top concerns of residents.
Labour’s action of robbing our streets of proper officers is grand theft on the biggest scale.”
Ealing Liberal Democrat Crime & Community Safety Spokesman Cllr Nigel Bakhai said: “Labour-run Ealing Council has made making Ealing safer one of their top priorities, but in reality they have cut the community safety budget and their attempts to hide reductions in police numbers are a con.
'' I’m concerned that these reductions in police numbers will compromise public safety and that criminals won’t be fooled by passing off a few council officers in high visibility uniforms.”
But, at last night's Council meeting Councillor Ranjit Dheer, cabinet member for Safer Communities responded to the accusations. He said the council officers who will be part of this service will have specific enforcement powers in a number of areas including tackling noisy neighbours and ensuring licenses are enforced.
He explained that the council is integrating enforcement teams and giving them a recognisable uniform in order to work together with the police.
He said that this will deliver more uniformed officers on the street as promised at election time and will save the council money.
''It is a great example of joint working and shared services and has the full backing of the Metropolitan police. The proposal will also deliver at least 9 new police constables who will have significantly greater powers than the PCSOs they have replaced.''
23 March 2011