The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis tells me that all areas of Bromley are covered by home beat officers—and that the number of police officers on duty in the borough has been rising since January this year.
If my hon. Friend agrees, as I hope he does, that a bobby on the beat represents a strong deterrent to crime as well as giving great encouragement to the general public, can he give a firm undertaking that the recent police restructuring in Bromley will not lead to any diminution in home beat cover?
In Bromley, there is great concern that the police presence should be as near the public as possible in the community. That is why there are now 19 home beat officers, plus 25 officers attached to dedicated sector teams in the community and eight attached to the town centre unit. It is the intention in Bromley to meet the target of 481 officers overall long before March 1997, which was the original date intended. The police expect to reach that target by September this year.