Taking the "I've spent £2.20 on an Americano so now I live here" attitude of some coffee house customers to the extreme, the police will use cafes to conduct meetings with the public. London Mayor Sadiq Khan plans to save as much as £15m by shutting official meeting places around the capital.
For some time now police have met with the public in libraries and supermarkets because people simply don't use them. Instead, he suggests going to where the public go, to places like coffee shops to meet with concerned citizens. And it's not actually a bad idea, as so many of us just visit these places as part of our daily routine, but might not pop into a library or police station every day.
Criticism of the plan seems mostly to revolve around getting the public onboard. This will likely involve helping people find where police will be, and on what day. This feels like a problem solvable by technology though, perhaps "find my bobby" as an app that helps you track down a member of the fuzz to chat with.
The Met needs to cut £400m from its budget and has sold £1bn in property to soften the blow over recent years. Ultimately, you can't have a police force unless you're prepared to pay for it, and recent events have surely shown us the value of our nation's law enforcers. [via Evening Standard]