August 24, 2011

London can't afford to let the EDL march

As violence and disorder escalated a fortnight ago, councils swiftly deployed youth workers, clean-up teams and support for the families and businesses affected (Report, 23 August). Rebuilding homes and livelihoods, not to mention a sense of public safety, will be a much longer job and councils will be paying for this for some time to come. The huge additional cost to the Metropolitan police of putting 16,000 officers on London streets for a week will have an even greater impact, severely limiting the force's ability to deploy additional resources to respond to the day-to-day crime and anti-social behaviour that will arise during the rest of the year.

That is why we – representing communities across London – are calling on the acting commissioner of the Met to recognise that the planned march of the English Defence League in Tower Hamlets on 3 September is a drain on resources that London cannot now afford. While we have no doubt that the Met could contain this demonstration, the cost of policing it (up to £500,000 for previous EDL marches) would simply be too great. That's even before the cost of policing the heightened community tension that the EDL aims to leave in its wake.

As we continue the clean-up, let's make sure that the long-term impact on London isn't unnecessarily compounded.The Met should request that the EDL march in Tower Hamlets on 3 September be banned and the home secretary should agree.

Rushanara Ali MP Lab, Bethnal Green and Bow
Jim Fitzpatrick MP Lab, Poplar and Limehouse
John Biggs AM Lab, City and East London
Cllr Joshua Peck Labour group leader, London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Jules Pipe Mayor of Hackney
Sir Robin Wales Mayor of Newham
Cllr Nasim Ali Leader, London Borough of Camden
Cllr Chris Roberts Leader, London Borough of Greenwich
Cllr Bill Stephenson Leader, London Borough of Harrow
Cllr Jagdish Sharma Leader, London Borough of Hounslow
Sir Steve Bullock Mayor of Lewisham
Cllr Stephen Alambritis Leader, London Borough of Merton
Cllr Peter John Leader, London Borough of Southwark
Cllr Catherine West Leader, London Borough of Islington
Cllr Doug Taylor Leader, London Borough of Enfield
Cllr Julian Bell Leader, London Borough of Ealing
Cllr Jackie Meldrum Deputy leader, London Borough of Lambeth



Greg said...


Greg said...