Sutton has the lowest number of police officers of all London Boroughs. In the past six months, my 15 year old neighbour has been kicked unconscious in broad daylight, a 14 year old family friend was punched and mugged on a bus, a thrown firework narrowly missed my 8 year old daughter and my son had a stick pushed into the spokes on his bike sending him over the handlebars onto the busy Croydon Road. I am not interested in being safer than Hackney or Newham. I want the best policing for Sutton, not just to rely on demographics to keep us near the top of a league table.
My colleagues and I argued for the use of dispersal orders in certain troublespots in the Borough. Guy Road in Beddington and Fairlands Park in Cheam suffer from antisocial behaviour. Allowing police officers the ability to move crowds of youths on can help. Although it moves the problem on, when surrounding areas use such orders, the problem grinds to a halt in Sutton. It may be a short term fix but it disrupts behaviour in the meantime and is only a single weapon in the police armoury not the be all and end all.
We negotiated an amendment which included the line “This Council supports the use of dispersal orders if and when requested by the police.” This is a clear reversal of policy by the LibDems so a very good result for residents around these trouble areas. Now it is up to you to ask the police for their use if you see such problems around your area.