Labour Assembly Member Joanne McCartney has today challenged the Met Police to guarantee that police numbers won’t fall after the Olympics further than anticipated in the Mayor’s current Policing Plan.
At today’s plenary session at City Hall Joanne McCartney asked the Assistant Met Police Commissioner Tim Godwin “can you guarantee that police numbers won’t reduce further?”
The Assistant Commissioner replied: “I can’t guarantee anything today. Negotiations are ongoing but at this point the decision is budgetary therefore it’s a political decision for the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor and the MPA. As it’s subject to negotiations I can’t guarantee we won’t have to reduce police numbers.”
At the same time the Met are dropping Police Officers, they are also reducing Police Community Support Officers by almost 1,000 – leading to a significant fall in the uniformed policing presence in the capital.
There are also plans afoot to cut skilled and experienced officers from specialist units. Plans are being considered to cut the Met’s jewel in the crown – the Homicide and Serious Crime Command – moving some officers to Operations Trident and Sapphire but also losing another 60 specialist officers.
London Assembly Member Joanne McCartney said: “the Government’s cuts supported by this Mayor are clearly having a detrimental impact on the Met’s ability to maintain police numbers and specialist units. I simply do not believe they would be doing dismantling their flagship teams if it weren’t for the crippling budget cuts.”
London Assembly Member Val Shawcross said: “The Met Police have an excellent service in Operation Trident, the Met’s specialist black-on-black gun crime unit. The danger is that these cuts will disrupt the focus of the unit as it will be loaded with more work.”