Despite Richmond historically being one of the safest boroughs in London, its crime rate has risen more dramatically than anywhere else in the city.
Since 2011, police forces across the country have lost £600m in funding, causing national crime rates to rise by more than 6% in the last year alone.
To accommodate these cuts the police forces of Richmond, Kingston, Wandsworth and Merton were merged last May, to form the South West Basic Command Unit (BCU).
The unit has been struggling to fund much needed resources and are also failing to fill a significant number of job positions.
The borough of Richmond has consequently seen an almost 14% increase in crime, tailed only by Kingston, Harrow and Redbridge whose crime rates increased by just over 10%.
Opposition councillor Peter Buckwell from South Richmond claimed: ‘we have [seen] a rise in the number of minor crimes, professional beggars, pickpockets, shoplifters and anti-social behaviour.’
‘to deter crime we need a daily visible police presence in our town centres. Our police do a great job but they need additional resources.’
Local councillors created a motion, calling on the government and Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan to provide more funding and resources to the police.
Cabinet member for community safety, Councillor Liz Jaeger, who proposed the motion said: ‘our local police work so hard to keep us safe. But, they can only work within the resources they have, they are stretched.’
‘the only way to fix the problem is for the government and the mayor of London to provide adequate funding. Our safety is in their hands.’
The motion was unanimously passed, with councillors from all parties supporting the calls.
South West BCU commander in Chief Superintendent Sally Benatar said: ‘The metropolitan police is actively recruiting police officers now; this will enable us to fill the vacancies we currently have on the South West BCU and allow us to continue to prioritise our preventative approach to tackling crime and violence.’