Kingston needs more police cells to help officers deal with the town's late-night crime problems, according to David Cameron, who visited the borough yesterday.

He was on tour to support fellow Conservative candidate Boris Johnson, before London goes to the polls on May 1.

The Conservative leader spoke to the town's police officers because he claims "crime is the number one issue in these Mayoral elections."

Mr Cameron chose to come to Kingston because "the outer London boroughs can feel quite forgotten," because he and so many other MPs live and work in central London.

After talking to police, he noted: "There is a shortage of police cells that they are finding because there is so much drink fuelled violence on London's streets.

"We do need more police cells to make sure they don't have to travel across London when they arrest someone."

Although he supported new measures to deal with binge-drinking, like the town centre's new triage clinic, he maintained that "we are still going to have a need for active policing."

But Mr Cameron also praised the voluntary street pastors, who have been patrolling Kingston's streets since June 2006.

He said: "I think they do an excellent job and it is a very good example of how solving antisocial behaviour and problems on our streets is not just a job for the police.

"When they first came into place people raised their eyebrows but the police have told us that they have done a great job in finding missing people because people will come forward and talk to street pastors."

Mr Cameron also vowed to look into Kingston's council housing budget problems, and other local issues when he met conservative councillors and campaigners in the area.

Kingston parliamentary candidate Helen Whately put it to him that lower-level crime also needs addressing.

She said: "The things I get letters about are rarely town centre crime. It is more to do with antisocial behaviour and big groups of kids, that are not violent but people find them threatening."