Some new news just in from my newly-read Mayor of London news feed:
"The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, today joined Metropolitan Police Commander Rod Jarman and Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy to announce the 30 locations across London that will benefit from new transport policing teams."
Excellent. So that's thirty extra teams of police in the capital. I guess I must have been a bit hasty with this question yesterday.
But hang on wasn't Boris asked about this at the last Mayor's Question Time? Oh yes:
(1)Question No: 1604 / 2008
Following your announcement regarding the new London Underground policing teams, can you confirm whether this will involve new British Transport Police officers, or whether officers are being diverted from other duties?
The new London Underground Neighbourhood Policing Teams have been formed by realigning existing reassurance teams on the LU system to provide a greater focus on providing visible and local policing on the tube network.The teams were launched on 1 August and will be dedicated to the needs of each specific neighbourhood area, with the policing priorities for that area decided in partnership with passengers, local staff and the local community.
Transport policing (2)
Question No: 1605 / 2008
If officers are being diverted from other duties to police the Underground, why do you support this decision, given that the London Underground is a low crime environment and crime on the network has decreased significantly over the past year?
London Underground is a low crime environment but there is always more work to be done to maintain this. The London Underground Neighbourhood Policing Teams will provide an opportunity for officers to get to know their local communities and understand the important issues in their area. They will do this by working in partnership to identify local problems, as well as working to develop targeted solutions to tackling crime and the types of behaviour that make people feel unsafe. As stated in my answer to question 1604/2008 these teams have been formed by realigning existing reassurance officers already working on the Underground in order to make the best use of resources across the network.
Transport policing (3)
Question No: 1606 / 2008
Is the entire cost of the new London Underground policing teams being met by the British Transport Police?
The cost of the new teams will be covered by existing London Underground funding for British Transport Police."
So does that mean that there will be no new funding and no new police officers, or does today's announcement indicate that there will be genuinely more police out on the streets?
Because when you are claiming that crime has fallen because of these 'new teams' then shouldn't you make it clear whether or not those crime-fighters have been redeployed from fighting crime elsewhere?