The Mayor has written to the Metropolitan Police asking them to come up with their final proposals for cutting £148million next year from their budget. In the same letter the Mayor said he would consider options that would mean missing his target to have 1,000 more police officers in London.
The letter, which was sent to the deputy mayor for Policing and Crime, Stephen Greenhalgh – who heads up the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime – states that the Mayor does not expect a better settlement from central government in the Autumn Statement and Local Government Finance settlement which are both due in December.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) stated that the government could cut the policing budget by 12% and not hit front line services, the government have cut the policing budget by 20%.
Labour’s City Hall Police & Crime spokesperson, Joanne McCartney, said:
The government are cutting the police budget too far and too fast, they are hitting front line services. The Mayor has already cut 1,444 police officers in the past two years along with 1,960 PCSOs, police stations are being shut down across the capital and it looks like borough commanders will be merged. The thin blue line is getting ever thinner.
This latest admission from the Mayor is yet more evidence that the government are cutting too far, too fast and are hitting the front line. The HMIC were very clear that you could cut the police budget by 12% and not hit the front line. Instead of listening to expert advice the government cut the police budget by 20%, which is now hitting the front line. So far London has been shielded from the worst of the cuts because of the Olympics, it is now clear that the Mayor will not be able to deliver his election promises.
Earlier this year the Mayor talked a good game about how he would secure a better deal for London from this government. It is now clear that he has failed to do this and will be forced to continue cutting police officers in London. While overall crime is falling in the capital certain types of violent crime are rising such as GBH, rape and muggings. It is more important than ever that we have enough police on the streets to keep us safe.
Source: London Assembly Member Press Release