Today (Wednesday) Boris Johnson will face questions over his plans to change the structure of the Metropolitan Police and merge some borough police forces. The plans, which will be publicly consulted on in October, will see some borough’s police forces merged. It has not yet been determined which boroughs will face this merger.
The changes also downgrade the Mayor’s previous pledge to replace any police stations and front counters that he closed down. His new commitment is to maintain a minimum of one 24/7 front counter. Boris will be questioned at Mayor’s Question Time at City Hall.
Labour’s City Hall Police and Crime spokesperson, Joanne McCartney AM, said:
“These cuts are deeply worrying. The borough commanders are our local police leaders and build vital links with their council, community groups and local residents. These changes will lead to the thin blue line becoming ever thinner. The loss of stations and front counters could lead to the Met retreating from local communities and making it harder for residents to access police services.
“We need to be sure that the mayor is making these changes to improve public safety and are not just a cost-cutting move. The mayor has already cut 1,444 police officers and 1,842 PCSOs in the last two years. This cut to borough commanders looks like part of Boris’ wider police cuts agenda.
“Ensuring public safety is paramount. At a time when robbery, burglary and sexual offences are rising we need more police not less. As we saw with the riots last year we need enough officers for a range of situations to keep us all safe. Reductions in police numbers are due to an ideologically driven cuts programme that is going too far, too fast. It appears that the Mayor and his Conservative colleagues in government only have a plan to cut police, not crime.”
Joanne McCartney is the Labour London Assembly Member for Enfield and Haringey. She also chairs the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee.
The Metropolitan Police’s proposals are contained in the attached “Stakeholder Briefing”: