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@JamesBerryMP supports greater protection for police officers

James Giles

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Speaking in a debate on the issue of police officer safety yesterday, James Berry has stressed the need establish greater protections for police officers after figures revealed that there were 23,000 assault on police officers in 2015/2016.

In his speech, Berry praised Kingston’s Borough Commander and its officers for the role they have played in making Kingston the safest borough in London and spoke about his recent “Ride Along” with two response officers.  He welcomed the introduction of body-worn cameras in safeguarding officers on the beat, and emphasized the need for personal safety equipment to be more readily available to police officers, calls echoed by other MPs.  He stressed the importance of high quality training for police officers and suggested that the College of Policing had a greater role to play in this regard, hopefully moving to the status of aRoyal College status in recognition of the professional nature of policing.

Commenting, Mr Berry said:

“I stood on a platform of giving the police the tools they need to do their job. Since May 2015 the government has done so with the Psychoactive Substances Act, which should reduce the many assaults on police officers linked to psychoactive substances, and is trying to do so again with the Investigatory Powers Bill, ensuring the police’s powers stay up to date with the technology criminals are now using.  

“It was good to have another opportunity to put on record my thanks to our amazing police officers in Kingston who put themselves in danger day in, day out to keep us safe – in fact, safer than other Borough in London.”

James Giles is the Editor of the Kingston Enquirer, covering local news and events in Kingston, New Malden, Surbiton, Tolworth and Chessington.

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Kingston Town

Lib Dems in CHAOS after 2000 sign petition on parking charges… but refuse to back down

James Giles

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Kingston Lib Dems are in chaos after refusing to back down on controversial changes to parking permits in the borough, instead announcing an amended scheme which has been blasted by residents as ‘hap-dash and ill-thought-out’.

The proposals would have resulted in a 350% hike in the cost of a parking permit for some residents in the borough, whilst newly purchased Teslas would get to park for free.

Instead, amended proposals announced today mean that cars will, this year, face a cost of up to £245, up from the current £90, but down from the proposed £465.

In a press release explaining the rationale for the latest amendment, Councillor Hilary Gander said: “I believe that differential parking is one measure that will go towards achieving [cleaner air in Kingston].

“It seems, however, we may have moved too fast and not fully explained our approach.”

The ruling Lib Dem administration has, refused to rule out increasing the charges again next year, and have not announced how they are plugging the £525,000 gap this will leave in their budget for this financial year.

New Malden resident Angie, who lives in Queens Road, said: “It’s clear to me from what the Lib Dems have written that they fully intend to increase permit costs again next year – it’s not a case of ‘moving too fast’, it’s a case of these charges being discriminatory and unfair.

“How on earth can the Council practically halve these figures on a whim. It just proves that this is not really about tackling the issue of air quality, it’s about making a quick buck.”

Campaigners who set up a group to attempt to halt these proposals say that this latest amendment will not reduce local opposition to the plans, and are urging residents affected to attend Full Council at the Guildhall next Wednesday, starting at 7:30pm, where they have forced the Council to debate the issue by raising a community motion.

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