This morning we find ourselves wondering why the Council has decided to sit on its hands and allow situation to occur which will see not only the Police in the Borough stretched, but effectively see policing numbers cut. As we're sure readers are aware, the Army presence in Woolwich has been in slow decline for many years. Funnily enough the poor state of Woolwich and the rising crimes seems to correlate with such things but that is beside the point.
Part of the Army presence includes the dreaded Red Caps, that's the Military Police for those who don't know. The local garrison, although somewhat decreased in recent years but still quite sizeable, is policed by a compliment of one Inspector, five Sergeants, and approximately eighteen constables. Their job is to patrol and police all the Ministry of Defence property in the area, as well the military personnel including the married quarters and the TA units. You can probably guess where this going we think?
The compliment of policing is going to be cut very shortly to just two constables. Why does this matter? Well, it is well known that the Red Caps have always supported and aided the Metropolitan Police out on Civvy Street, often providing backup when needed. The cut in numbers means that (a) the Met no longer have the back up, and (b) the Met will have to start getting involved in helping two plod manage the entire MoD estate meaning extra work.
This isn't the first time such things have happened. We've learned that the same sort of cuts were tried in Colchester and, thanks to local opposition, it was scrapped. This is why we find the Council response, or should we say "lack of response", strange. The local police are already dealing with enough without having to take on extra-work. The question is, will the Council get off its hands and protest to the MoD?Update:
Apparently these are not Red Caps but MoD police, who wear standrard uniform and carry warrant cards. Most people would not know the difference between them and the normal police.