Helping people feel secure in their homes and communities is at the heart of what we stand for as Liberal Democrats. It is a vital function of local as well as of national government to act to reduce crime and the fear of crime.
After years of reduction in traditional crime we have seen an increase, particularly in violent crime, since 2014. Overall crime has risen by 18% in H&F with an increase in violent crime of 60% since 2014.
At the same time police forces are under pressure from reduced funding, with less money available for the community policing we all value. As a result of budget cuts police numbers in H&F have reduced by 7% over the last 2 years.
The Met police are being amalgamated by clusters of London boroughs into Basic Command Units (BCUs). H&F is to be amalgamated with Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster. The evidence from trials suggests that these plans will further delay police response times. In addition, police stations are to be closed in every part of London including Fulham police station
Nuisance crimes like graffiti, fly tipping and abandoned vehicles remain common in the Borough and make people feel unsafe. In the last 3 years fly-typing has increased by 65% to a record level of nearly 15k incidents. The council has powers to issue fixed penalty fines of £200 and prosecute serious offenders. The council is not using these powers and in 2016/17 issued zero fixed penalties. Evidence suggests that coupling cheaper/free removal services with rigorous enforcement will reduce fly-typing dramatically over a very short period of time.
The Liberal Democrats would
- Support extra funds for more borough-funded police officers where they are needed most.
- Create new youth provision following the cuts to the youth services budget to help prevent young people from falling into crime and make them less vulnerable to exploitation by groups like gangs.
- Work with all sectors to combat gang violence and youth offending.
- Support better crime prevention measures including the appropriate installation of more CCTV cameras and better street-lighting in town centres, tube and bus stops and other crime "hotspots". In parts of the borough CCTV is limited e.g. In Sands End there is no CCTV at all.
- Boost the Neighbourhood Watch schemes in the Borough and ensure that they are properly supported.
- Install additional CCTV cameras in key underserved areas to deter and detect fly-tipping/graffiti and improved enforcement.
- Increase fixed penalty fines to £400 for fly typing, improve enforcement measures and reduce the fixed charge for waste removal from £24.70 to £10.