After knocking on doors this morning, I attended a HUGE public meeting about burglary in Clayhall. So many people turned up that the meeting had to be moved to the playground. Jas Athwal - Leader of Redbridge Council, local councillors from Redbridge Council, Redbridge Neighbourhood Watch listened to residents' concerns, shared advice and information about the spate of burglaries and agreed some points of action.
As you may have read in the Ilford Recorder this week, I have ...raised the issue of burglary in person with the Mayor of London, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, the Borough Commander covering Redbridge and, on the floor of the House of Commons, with the Policing Minister.
As a result, Operation Mexico has been launched - a specialist burglary unit in our borough. This has led to a number of arrests in recent weeks.
More needs to be done. As I said today, the only way we can really tackle burglary is through more visible police officers on our streets. Since 2010, £600 million has been cut from the Met's budget by the Government - £400 million more is set to follow by 2021. I won't stand for this. I will be campaigning constantly on police cuts.
Locally, I welcome Jas Athwal's confirmation that the Council will be looking at what resources it can deploy. The Council isn't responsible for policing, but he's looking at what support the Enforcement Team can supply and is also looking into CCTV coverage.
I was disappointed by the lack of senior police representation today. We will be following up on this.
Can I ask residents with concerns about burglary or specific examples of cases that have been poorly handled to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'd like to thank everyone who came along today, but also a special thanks to the Clayhall Community Centre team for their hard work in putting it on at short notice.
Rest assured this is a big priority for me.