Conservative London Mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey has refused to apologise after being accused of using the Neighbourhood Watch brand in his political campaign.

A letter sent to residents in the Chingford and Woodford Green area at the end of April promoted Mr Bailey’s mayoral campaign and featured the Neighbourhood Watch brand.

The letter was also signed off by MP Iain Duncan Smith

Neighbourhood Watch Network said it contacted Mr Bailey to request its name is not used in any future campaigning material.

Mr Bailey’s leaflet reads: “We should be able to walk our streets without worrying who’s behind us. Crime in London is rising, but we can do something about it. So help us set up a Neighbourhood Watch.”

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John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of the Neighborhood Watch Network, reiterated the movement’s political neutrality on May 22: “Although we encourage politicians to engage with Neighbourhood Watch groups in a constructive manner, we ask all politicians to refrain from using our name in communications that could be interpreted as party political campaigning.”

Faiza Shaheen, Labour prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the constituency, who reported the leaflet to Neighbourhood Watch said it is a "disgrace" that the Conservative politicians are using the Neighbourhood Watch's "good reputation for their own political gain."

She continued: “They are clearly trying to hoodwink the people of Chingford and Woodford Green, and I’m pleased that the Neighbourhood Watch has put a stop to it.

“Cuts to the police and preventative services by the Conservative Party are the real reason why our communities are less safe.

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"There is no doubt that these cuts - implemented while Shaun Bailey was advising David Cameron on youth crime and voted for in parliament by Iain Duncan Smith - have had devastating consequences.

"As MP for Chingford and Woodford Green I will fight for the funding our community so desperately needs."

In response, Mr Bailey said: “No one has a monopoly on people's safety and we make no apology for trying to protect Londoners during the ongoing knife crime epidemic.

"Sadiq Khan's comments that it will take 10 years to get on top of the problem has merely emboldened criminals and sent out a message to communities that there's nothing we can do for you.

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“It should be criminals not communities that feel under pressure. We need a plan to get more coppers on the beat which is why the mayor should adopt my plan for an extra 1000 bobbies and 800 detectives to crackdown on the capital's crime wave.”

Mr Duncan Smith MP also added the leaflets were delivered "in response to requests for help from local residents in Chingford & Woodford Green interested in setting up Neighbourhood Watch Groups".

He continued: "Conservative Councillors in my constituency have been very successful helping and encouraging residents Neighbourhood Watch Schemes in many wards around the constituency; helping to create safer neighbourhoods.

"It’s disappointing to hear the Labour Party are trying a politicise this as an issue, especially when Neighbourhood Watch Groups promote community cohesion and improve awareness of crime prevention creating clear lines of communication to and from the police.”