After the crushing defeat in the Euro elections, Conservative central office realised how much trouble they were in. They ordered Damian to, ‘Do something!’ The something was the Conservative favourite, ‘Law and Order’. £900,000 was allocated to pay for a Rent-A-Cop scheme. This got a sergeant and four officers for three years. It’s an abysmal deal.
Damian and Viddy Persaud hadn’t read the small print. The deal didn’t include overtime, bank holidays or police cars. It did include the right of the Metropolitan police to withdraw any, or all, of the officers to fulfil duties in central London at any time without notice.
New PM Johnson is a showman who likes flamboyant speeches. He proposed 20,000 new police officers at a cost of £750 million. This trumped Damian’s five. The mature response would have been to withdraw the proposal because Johnson’s 20,000 additional officers meant 50 for Havering.
So what happened? Damian runs Havering’s communications department as a personal PR machine, never missing a photo opportunity. Where is his front page photo in the Romford Recorder as he champions the fight against the forces of evil? Or, has the Rent-A-Cop scheme been quietly dropped? The protesters against increased car parking charges need to be told.
Reversing that policy could finance a restoration of 30 minutes free car parking.