The four aims of the Government’s Neighbourhood Policing Programme read: access, influence, intervention and answers. This new style of policing aims to make local police accountable to local communities. At the same time, the emphasis is on partnership working with civilian panels to help solve crime. Unfortunately, as far as London local democracy is concerned there is a danger that the bright ambitions may turn into empty gestures.
The reason for the down beat assessment lies with the Metropolitan Police’s decision to try and gag London councillors. The Met has distributed a draft constitution to all ward panels which includes a clause barring local councillors from voting rights.
What happened to having a say over neighbourhood policing priorities? Clearly the Met doesn’t what councillors to have too much of a say.