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Part of Opposition Day — [9th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 6:23 pm on 4th November 2015.

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Photo of Neil Coyle Neil Coyle Labour, Bermondsey and Old Southwark 6:23 pm, 4th November 2015

Fantastic. I am pleased to hear that news, and thank the Minister for jumping to his feet to make that assertion so quickly.

Residents tell me that visibility and trust are the key to local policing, as well as the key to both public and business confidence. That confidence is lacking. We have seen the closure of Rotherhithe police station and the change from safer neighbourhood teams to the cluster of five wards of PCSOs. That has taken officers off the streets, which has contributed to the rise in crime in particular areas. Trust is essential to effective policing, and PCSOs are some of the most trusted officers we have right on the frontline in our local communities. They are the most reflective and representative part of the Met police, and they are the ones most likely to face the cuts proposed in the comprehensive spending review.

In the face of rising crime and the prospect of what lies ahead, I ask Ministers to think what message they are sending to my constituents and local businesses if they continue along the course of cutting police officers. In particular, I ask them what message they are sending to my constituent, Mariama Kamara, after the loss of her son. If the track record of local policing is not improved, her son’s death may never be solved.