“Could you? Would you?
“Last night, supported by an outstanding team, I was proud to lead the policing operation to keep London’s communities safe. It is always humbling to see the work of my colleagues, who tirelessly attended call after call last night to help some of the most vulnerable members of our communities.
“In the last 24 hours, we have had 7501 emergency calls, 5335 non-emergency calls and just over 1000 online reports of incidents and crime from London’s communities. Each one of those calls was from a person requesting our help. I’m glad we were able to respond to these and to help the communities and individuals, often in crisis, who we care deeply about. Doing this is unquestionably what my colleagues and I joined the police service to do.
“On top of this, despite asking people not to organise unlicensed music events because of the high risk of violence and the public health risk of COVID-19, they regrettably did take place across the capital. To ensure we were in a position to deal with this upwards of 600 officers were taken away from local boroughs to be available.
I reminded myself as I write this that there is no extra box of officers. In order to respond as we need to means officers are taken away from their local communities, often having their days off cancelled or shifts changed.
“Last night we deployed officers to the Woodberry Down Estate N4 after we received upwards of 30 calls from residents asking for help as they witnessed about 200/300 youths fighting and smashing up property. These residents were scared to leave their homes and scared about what they would face outside their front doors in the morning.
It is always an anxious moment for us as we deploy our officers into such situations but I draw confidence from my knowledge of the outstanding training they receive. As I waited for news last night I hoped that residents and officers were okay.
“I wanted to share with you the footage from a colleague’s body worn camera which shows what they faced upon arrival, and I ask the question ‘could you or would you want to do their job?’
“Finally, I want to say a ‘thank you’ to those residents who trusted us and called us to come and help. I also wanted to say ‘thank you’ to all my colleagues that still run towards those incidents which most people would naturally wish to run from.”