Letter to the Editor: Assembly member's letter is 'wildly inaccurate'

Letter to the Editor: Assembly member's letter is 'wildly inaccurate'

Letter to the Editor: Assembly member's letter is 'wildly inaccurate'

First published in Letters

With regard to the wildly inaccurate letter from Richard Tracey, the Tory Assembly member for Merton, ("Officer numbers are up, crime is down", August 14), It is completely unacceptable for him to make statements in print that contradict the obvious. He should also do some homework before he calls me a liar. He is using short-term figures and blanket numbers that include drunks on Saturday nights. The government now uses multiple sub-headings within their statistics to reduce crime percentages. If you break up violent and street crimes into infinite sub-classifications the figures appear smaller.

Mr Tracey quotes numbers that have been dismissed by the hard-copy media, the BBC and the Commons Public Accounts Committee, whose chairwoman will be visiting Mitcham shortly, following media revelations from a former senior Met officer related to how Cameron's 'government' have been compiling those figures. I check my figures with serving police officers and my former employers at Jane's Defence Review, All of whom have senior backgrounds in Defence Intelligence and are very concerned about the undermining of Britain's national security capability resultant from these insane police cuts.

Mr Tracey said in his letter that the Wimbledon Guardian published an 'innaccurate' article entitled "Mitcham residents call for more police at St Mark's Church meeting amid fears of crime and antisocial behaviour" when, in fact, as always, it and every other article that has ever been published in this newspaper is the absolute unvarnished truth. Suggesting that this journal lacks integrity when it strives for total honesty and political balance isn't just a disgusting slur on honest journalists, it is a stupid thing to say. The people of our community are not idiots.

Mr Tracey and Stephen Hammond, the two invisible men of Wimbledon and Merton, were not at that public meeting. They should have been.

When they actually show up at one of these meetings, they will be in a position to know what damage they are doing to our community and then do some work on repairing their damage. Which currently includes the wrecking of our highly respected business community who are losing vast amounts of job-creating investment and commercial returns as a result of these police cuts. And they are furious.

The Tories are currently imposing the highest levels of overall police cuts in Britain's post-war history. To achieve what exactly? That does not save money. All it does is undermine the safety of our wives and families and meanwhile ruins the commercial viability of every retailer in Wimbledon and Merton. The profit margins of every business in our borough are now crashing because of these insane cuts. Crime levels in Wimbledon and Merton are on track to reach the La Grange Point between Earth and Moon sometime early in 2015. The figures are going up not down. Four years ago, Mr Richard Tracey, this borough was the third safest in London with the third lowest crime rate. We are now up to number five. A profound increase in crime..

Local crime detection rates in Merton are at an all-time low (a 78% fall) because you and Mr Stephen Hammond have cut the backroom staff that represent the core of all intelligence gathering in every police force in the world. You have cut 59% of our PCSOs (community patrol officers) which means our sworn officers now have, in many cases, a tripling of their workload. And for all of this, Mr Richard Tracey, those officers have had a disgusting real-terms pay freeze for the last four years. An absolutely reprehensible way to treat brave men and women who risk their lives every day to protect our families.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Barltrop

 


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