Councillor Hai slmas decision to cut SNT sergeants

Camden’s community safety chief has joined residents in opposing plans to reduce the borough’s Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) sergeants from 18 to 14.

Cllr Abdul Hai slammed London Mayor Boris Johnson’s decision to cut 150 SNT sergeants across the Met – despite promises from the coalition government to protect frontline policing.

In a letter to the Ham&High this week, he said: “Yet another ConDem government U-turn. The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has consistently stated that the 20 per cent reduction in police budgets will not impact on frontline policing.”

Peter Burian, vice chairman of Hampstead safer neighbourhood panel, agreed that cutbacks to SNT sergeant numbers were a mistake.

“Sergeants are not just important – they’re vital,” he said.

“The SNTs are the nerve-endings and the routes to getting information and giving information within the community.”

Camden Police have already moved to assure residents that a dedicated SNT unit will be maintained in every ward, with PC and PCSO numbers remaining the same.

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But a spokesman for the force admitted that the cuts may mean that in some cases one sergeant will now be responsible for covering two areas.

Borough Commander John Sutherland added: “Safer Neighbourhoods policing works – and we will not be backing away from it one bit. The possible loss of the four sergeants is something that we will have to manage.”