Erith and Thamesmead has not been as badly affected as other parts of South East London during the riots but the looting and criminal damage in nearby Woolwich has been shocking and has made many people afraid. I think the Government should have been much quicker to get a handle on the situation and boost the number of police on London streets.
In recent months I have argued that the Government should scrap their plan to drastically cut the police budget. The events of recent days have shown that they cannot continue with plans that will cut police numbers and I will be taking this up again with Home Secretary and the Mayor of London. Our fire brigade must also be funded and resourced properly so that people can feel safe.
I’d like to thank all the police, fire fighters and other emergency services workers who have been working around the clock to try to make our streets safer. I’ve been in communication with councils and local police throughout and I know they have been doing their best to respond in very challenging circumstances.
I hope that in the coming days we will see the rioters brought to justice and an end to this mindless violence.