The Met is losing 100 officers a month but not one is being replaced, it was revealed at the London Assembly this week. The force could have 1,000 fewer police officers by the end of the year.
The fall in officer numbers comes as the Met try to cope with an estimated £100 million cut to their budget. Local London Assembly member, Joanne McCartney, described the reductions as very worrying, saying they reveal the stark reality of Boris Johnson’s and the government’s cuts.
In March 2010 there were 33,318 Met officers (see MPA report here). But in December 2010 the MPA forecast there would be 32,137 at 31 March 2011 (see report here) – a reduction of 1,181. There are currently 582 police officers in Enfield & 708 police officers in Haringey.
Local London Assembly members, Joanne McCartney said: “One of Boris Johnson’s first moves was his plan to cut hundreds of officers from the Met. Now we are seeing the combined effect of his and the government’s cuts and it’s very worrying. Enfield & Haringey saw record numbers of police officers recruited over the last ten years as crime and the fear of crime fell but this is now very much threatened by these unnecessary cuts.”
Met deputy commissioner Tim Godwin told the London Assembly’s budget and performance committee this week that the service is initially focusing on cutting costs through support functions, information technology, buildings and vehicles – to avoid the need for frontline cuts.
He also told the committee how the Met hopes to cut its estates budget by a quarter by moving out of traditional police stations, which are costly to maintain. People could instead access “front counter” high-street services while officers and custody suites would be based elsewhere, Mr Godwin said.
1. Joanne McCartney is the London Assembly member for Enfield and Haringey.
2. Last year Boris Johnson’s budget proposed cutting 455 police officer from the Met. See here
3. The Mayor will answer questions about his draft budget at 11am on Tuesday 11 January at City Hall.
4. A webcast of the budget and performance committee meeting which took place at City Hall on Wednesday 5 January can be viewed here