Police Accessibility


According to it’s web site, “The London Police Service is seeking your input to assist us in formulating our next 3 year Business Plan for 2004-2006…We need to hear from you, the citizens of our community, as to what issues are important, and where our resources should be placed to provide an effective and efficient police service.”

Strange then, that it’s web site doesn’t contain any email links for those citizens who may wish to express their opinion.

Community meetings have been set up, but how much opportunity will there be for debate?

A survey will be mailed out, but only to a small number of citizens, who purportedly will be randomly selected. Will a copy of the survey also be provided to those citizens who have already indicated their dissatisfaction, so that they can further express their objections? Who will process those surveys, and will the results be made public in a timely fashion?

Based on my own personal experience, London Police Services is not interested in admitting it’s shortcomings. Citizens who make complaints are more likely to be treated with disdain and insult, rather than the respect which they deserve.

London’s Police Chief needs to come clean about the severe manpower shortage here in London. But more than that, he needs to be honest about the impact that it has had on law enforcement and officer response for the past several years. He has to admit that part of the blame for underfunding is his, because only “a very modest increase” was requested during the last budget presentation.

Members of London’s council also need to admit culpability. In response to the opportunity for participation during the budget process, I did express an opinion that the Police budget needed to be significantly increased. Since then, I have made numerous written submissions to various members of Council. To this date, there has not been a single response.

My request for information about the Police Chief’s Advisory Council have been rejected. Who are these people who have the ear of the Police Chief and influence policy? Why does the Police Chief refuse to identify them or answer questions about the Council?

Why does the Police Services Board operate in secrecy? Why are citizens denied the opportunity to make presentations, as I have been?

Why has the downtown business association had such success in having the Safe Streets Act enforced, while ordinary citizens such as myself are ignored when we call for the equitable enforcement of other laws?

Supt. Brad Duncan is quoted in The Londoner (2002/09/19) as saying that “a select group of individuals from the consultations are invited back to review the final version” (of their business plan).

And that’s the problem. This community belongs to all of us, and simply engaging in a phoney PR exercise at budget time isn’t going to cut it.

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