Tag Archives: 2024 london mayoral election

Rob Blackie: Met Police funding “too little, too late”

Today, London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced more funding for the Metropolitan Police.

Sadiq Khan on Wednesday announced almost £50m of additional funding for the Met police as he set out final details of his annual City Hall budget.

The mayor said the financial support given by the Greater London Authority to the Met from April – much of it already announced last month – would be £151m higher than for the current year.

However the amount is not enough to provide all of the £76m sought by Met commissioner Sir Mark Rowley to fund his “New Met for London” plan to boost community policing and tackle racism and misogyny in light of the damning Baroness Casey report.

Lib Dem London Mayoral candidate Rob Blackie was unimpressed:

This is too little, too late. The Met Police has got into a complete mess under eight years of this Mayor and Londoners won’t be fooled by his latest pre-election giveaway.

The amount the Mayor has pledged still falls short of what’s needed and he should back the Lib Dem plan to divert further headroom in the budget to the Police.

Interviewed on LBC this morning Rob confirmed his top priority as mayor would be to fix the Met Police. He said:

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Rob Blackie tackles Met Police on stop and search study failure

Lib Dem London Mayoral Candidate Rob Blackie has been persistent in holding the Mayor to account over civil liberties issues.

He has identified through Freedom of Information requests that the Metropolitan Police has made little progress on crucial research into stop and search, three years on from promising to do so.

The answers  show that the Mayor’s office has failed to get  the Met to make any meaningful progress on the bodycam research project:

In June 2023 the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime stated to Rob Blackie:

MOPAC held debrief sessions with the Met in October 2022 to discuss the issues, but the Review was told only four of the initial 20 coders attended, some of whom had not done any coding…In January 2023, discussions took place between the Met and MOPAC around a potential solution to allow research to progress and the Met set up a specific group to progress the work. This was due to meet in February 2023 but little progress was made. The current status is that there is a meeting due to take place between MOPAC and MPS at the end of June to progress and decide the next steps of the project.

When Rob asked in July 2023 how the June meeting had made progress, MOPAC replied that:

There are no current outcomes or timelines we can provide on the progression of the project.

This all comes from the Action Plan published in November 2020 which was supposed to improve trust and confidence in the Metropolitan Police.  It is disappointing, especially given the Casey Review’s conclusion earlier this year that the Met was institutionally racist, homophobic and misogynist.

You would think they would want to get a wiggle on to show that they were improving.

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Rob Blackie: Ban on laughing gas “waste of time”

London Mayoral candidate Rob Blackie has criticised the Government’s ban on Nitrous Oxide which, as the BBC reports, has come into force

Now categorised as a class C drug, possession of laughing gas for its “psychoactive effects” will carry a sentence of up to two years in prison.

The government says the ban will combat anti-social behaviour and reduce damage to users’ health.

Experts previously warned against a ban saying it would be disproportionate to the level of harm it causes.

Nitrous oxide is regularly used as a painkiller in medicine and dentistry. When mixed with oxygen, it is known as “gas and air”, which can help reduce pain during childbirth.

But it is also one of the most commonly used recreational drugs by 16 to 24-year-olds. It causes short-term euphoria but can damage the nervous system.

Under the new rules, those found in unlawful possession of the drug could now face a prison sentence or unlimited fine, with up to 14 years for supply or production.

Rob said:

The Conservative Government’s new ban on laughing gas is just wasting the police’s time – precious time that should be spent on serious and violent crimes.

With all the exemptions, the ban is going to be pretty unenforceable. Officers are going to spend huge amounts of time on paperwork in the office having to justify their work.

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