I visited the CCTV monitoring station at Borough police station with shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper MP and Southwark's community safety lead, Cllr Michael Situ.
The station is one of the largest operations in the country and, due to its integration into the police station, has been more effective at engaging police officers directly in its work.
Recent 'catches' include vandalism and a stabbing. Officers are trained to spot all kinds of criminal activity and alert nearest police reps as well as record evidence.
It was also an important opportunity to highlight local concerns with the next Home Secretary. I raised:
- the alarming drop in police and PCSOs in Southwark and the need to prevent the Tory plans to cut another 30,000 officers;
- muggings and the fear of street crime in Surrey Docks;
- the rise in commercial burglaries in SE1, including around Bermondsey Street;
- the drop in police visibility reported to me by Tenants and Residents' Associations from across the constituency, but especially in parts of SE16 and SE17; and
- the rise in drug use and selling in some areas, including in parts of Rotherhithe where it has been reported but gone unchecked for too long.
Having recently spent time with officers on patrol, it was also useful to relay their concerns and challenges directly with Yvette Cooper.