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SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS TO POLICING 'ALREADY UNDERWAY'

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The Metropolitan Police Authority has welcomed the ...
The Metropolitan Police Authority has welcomed the Policing for

London report published today and says it has already

embarked on a comprehensive programme of scrutiny and review and set

exacting priorities for the Met that will bring about many of the

improvements demanded by Londoners.

Toby Harris, chair of the MPA, said:

'We welcome this latest report which helps to keep policing and law

and order at the top of the political agenda and keeps us all focused

on people's expectations and concerns. But time has moved on since

the report was written and this was a snapshot of views taken some

little time ago.

'As we all know the pace of change in London is dramatic and things

have moved on since then. I believe we are seeing an upsurge in

confidence in policing among a range of communities.'

'Since its formation in July 2000, the MPA has been working closely

with the people of London and the commissioner, Sir John Stevens, to

raise standards within the Metropolitan Police and deliver a more

responsive and equitable service to Londoners.

'We have consulted with the people who live and work in London,

reviewed current performance and considered partners' views in

setting policing priorities for 2002/03 to increase security, create

safer communities, improve the police response to vulnerable victims

and tackle youth offending.

'These priorities are underpinned by challenging performance targets,

some of which were selected after consulting with borough commanders

in line with our continued drive to establish borough commands as the

main focus of policing.

'We are also ensuring more police officers are available for local

use. Our target last year to recruit 1,050 police officers has been

met and we aim to recruit over 1,200 more officers during 2002/03.

Londoners have told us that they want more officers on the beat and

we are delivering on that.

'Over the past 12 months I have personally visited every London

borough to meet with police, the community and local authority to

hear about local concerns and look at new ways of tackling crime

hotspots, street robberies and anti-social behaviour.

'Many of the public concerns identified by the report have been

reflected in the feedback I have received during my discussions in

the boroughs.

'People have repeatedly called for higher profile policing in the

boroughs and a style that is much more responsive and sensitive to

local priorities and concerns.

'Through our statutory role of maintaining an efficient and effective

police service for London, the MPA is constantly looking at ways of

raising standards to meet public demand and expectations.

'Through a continuous, wide-ranging programme of efficiency and best

value reviews and day-to-day scrutiny of all aspects of policing the

capital, major changes are underway that will transform a service

that has suffered in the past through an erosion of numbers and

morale, and an absence of a proper system of scrutiny and financial

management.

'But as we have seen over the past year, and especially since 11

September and more recently in the successful battle against street

crime, there is now much to be positive about and upon which we can

build. And we are also clear that the responsibility for operational

policing remains with the commissioner in whom we have the utmost

confidence.

'Through partnership and mutual cooperation and support we are

working to build a service that will deliver safer streets for all of

London's richly diverse communities.'

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