David Lammy says 'disappearing' neighbourhood policing is leading to increased crime

30 July 2023, 13:43

‘Neighbourhood policing in the United Kingdom is all but disappearing’: David Lammy reveals why he thinks crime is on the rise
‘Neighbourhood policing in the United Kingdom is all but disappearing’: David Lammy reveals why he thinks crime is on the rise. Picture: LBC/Alamy

By Alice Bourne

In a scathing review of neighbourhood policing in the UK, David Lammy explains why petty crime should be taken seriously as the cost of ignoring could lead to "far worse crimes".

Following police chiefs saying they will tackle ‘every single crime,’ David Lammy suggests to listeners that this would not be a waste of time explaining the “broken windows theory.”

“Broken windows theory,” David said, “was an idea coming out of the United States, pioneered by Rudy Giuliani the former mayor of New York.”

He explained: “New York was in a mess basically, it was in a mess because no one was dealing with anti-social behaviour, no-one was dealing with low-level crime… and that's why they coined the catchphrase broken windows.

“The idea was that if you allowed an urban neighbourhood to fall into decay if you walked into a neighbourhood and there were broken windows, where vandalism and graffiti all weren’t untaken care of that these low-level crimes would then give way to even bigger crimes because people thought the police weren’t present- there was no neighbourhood policing.”

This situation, David then said, was resolved by Rudy Giuliani who “came in, picked up this theory of broken windows and ran with it, and he eventually managed to turn things around”.

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Moving back to the UK, David said: “Now here we are today with police chiefs saying they are going to tackle every single crime… there will be many people listening who have called 111 instead of 999 realising it’s not an absolute emergency and nothing will have happened for weeks if nothing at all.

“That is because neighbourhood policing in the United Kingdom has all but disappeared, those that still exist are overrun with crime.”

Emphasising the importance of neighbourhood policing, David said: “We have a policing system in this country, it is called policing by consent, it is there for every single one of us and actually, it relies on us policing alongside them, it is why the police in this country don’t carry guns and it relies on a neighbourhood police force.”

Concluding David said: “But I’m afraid I think the system has just fallen away, there is a lot of reliance on technology CCTV, on doorbell video on GPS trackers but you still, in the end, need the officers to investigate and so if you cut officers then it is going to have an effect.”

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