In the last six months many constituents have written to me regarding increasing concerns about car theft, burglaries, and mobile phone thefts. Whilst some may say these are relatively minor crimes – I disagree. Theft and burglary hugely impact people’s lives adversely and raise fear. This week I met with Sir Mark Rowley, the Met Police Commissioner, to hear his plans for reform of the Met. I took the opportunity to impress upon him the impact of so-called low-level crime and the concern that many of my constituents felt that there was not enough emphasis placed on solving these crimes. I was pleased to hear that Sir Mark recognised this – he is planning more dedicated ward officers who will be less diverted to other duties. I can also report that the Met plans to hire 500 more PCSOs to work alongside the current PCSO cohort and 34,000 Police Officers.
I am hosting a public meeting with senior local police officers on 21st June to discuss crime in Wimbledon and how we can keep Wimbledon safe. I recently conducted a crime survey and at the meeting we shall discuss the results of this, and how residents can work with our local Police to keep Wimbledon safe. Should you wish to attend there is information available on my website, here
WIMBLEDON BRIDGE DELIVERY BIKES
Last year, along with local Councillor Dan Holden, I ran a campaign to move the delivery drivers from the kiss and drop spaces at Wimbledon Station. The local council agreed to amend local traffic orders and allocated spaces to the in nearby car parks. Regrettably, this has not solved the problem and I am therefore renewing my campaign to change the local byelaws on Wimbledon Bridge to stop the bikes parking there. Wimbledon residents who need to pick up or drop off at the station must be able to do so hassle free.
Politicians are often criticised for being headline grabbing photo opportunists. Recently the Government introduced the Illegal Migration Bill, and whilst no one wants illegal immigration, I was anxious that the treatment of minors, safe and legal routes for refugees, and access to the protections under the Modern Slavery Act should remain. I spoke several times to the Attorney General and other Ministers, and I worked with colleagues to introduce amendments. I am delighted the Government has now accepted the amendment on safe and legal routes and has given assurances that the Bill will not affect the current policies for children. There is more to be done, but this is a great success for sense and compassion. In my casework and Parliamentary activities, as an experienced politician, I usually find that negotiation, conversations, and understanding how things really work achieve better results for my constituents and the country than just always shouting at your opponents on social media.
Recently, some of my work in Parliament has centred around the need for greater cooperation with our international partners. As a member of the Parliamentary Partnership Assembly (PPA) – the joint delegation of the UK and EU Parliaments – I am going to be in Brussels for a day next month to discuss closer cooperation with our allies in Europe and how we can work together to build a stronger relationship to support fellow democracies following Russia’s brutal and illegal invasion of Ukraine. I have also been working on scrutinising the Government’s work on the Financial Services and Markets Bill. This legislation will set the framework for professional services regulation in the UK for the next 20 years. As services make up 82% of the UK economy, and more in London, it’s crucial that we get this right and I am pleased to have worked collaboratively with colleagues to ensure not only the independence but also accountability of regulators as they perform their vital role.