Monday, May 15, 2006

New ASB initiative


This move by some police forces to create a new emergency number with a lesser status than 999 could be a good move. Some of my constituents, confronted by anti-social behaviour, seem reluctant to contact the police about it. Sometimes it's because they just can't find the non-emergency number they need. So this should be a reassuring move.
However, it will need to be backed up by resources and action if it is to help vulnerable citizens feel there is protection they can call upon when they feel threatened. When we see things like Surbiton Police Station not being manned full time and Mew Malden Station sold to Witherspoons for a new pub and no Police desk in the new Community Centre for Hook and Chessington, there's bound to be a suspicion that this may be an 'eye-catching initiative' in the best Blairite tradition and little more. We wait in hope............


Kevin Davis said...

I can see some sense in this but is there not a danger it just becomes confusing. When is an emergency not an emergency? It is a bit like the "when do I go to the doctor?" or "when do I call an ambulance?"

Paul Johnston said...

I largely agree, hence my remark about 'eye-catching initiatives'. The decision will be in the hands of the person who feels in need of the service. But at the moment people complain to me that they have either to use 999 or call the local police station whose number is unfamiliar to them, so they have to find it in the phonebook. This easily memorable number will remove the need for that - or for the use of an expensive 118xxx directory enquiry service.