Reacting to the news that the Metropolitan Police are proposing to cut 25% of all Sergeants and senior officers along with 3,500 civilian staff, Labour London Assembly Police & Crime spokesperson, Joanne McCartney AM said the proposals will “jeopardise the safety and security of Londoners”.
This latest announcement confirms that the Metropolitan Police is starting to feel the effects of a 20% cut in funding from central government. It was recently announced that New Scotland Yard will be sold off, 891 Police Community Support Officers will be lost, and up to 65 police stations will go to be replaced with “contact points”.
The Mayor has already revealed he might not be able to keep his election promise to have 1,000 more police officers in London than when he took office. Boris wrote to the Met asking them to come up with their final proposals for cutting £148million from next year's 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.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary 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 London Assembly Police & Crime spokesperson, Joanne McCartney AM said:
“This is further evidence that the government’s cuts are hitting frontline policing in London. Losing a quarter of our police sergeants will be a body blow to neighbourhood policing. They are our local police leaders who are absolutely critical in keeping communities safe. Boris cut 150 police sergeants last year, so the numbers are already too low. We need the right mixture of police officers, sergeants, and senior police leaders. These proposed cuts will fundamentally undermine this mix.
“Losing 3,500 civilian staff will also have a real impact on policing in the capital. We already know that police officers are filling back-office roles. These new cuts will exacerbate the problem and lead to fewer police officers on the beat. In the last two years the Met has already lost 1,956 police officers, 1,800 PCSOs and over 1,330 civilian staff.
“The Met are announcing these latest cuts without any consultation with Londoners and we can only assume that Boris fully supports them. The Mayor and the government are cutting too far, too fast. They are jeopardising the safety and security of Londoners. It is time they listened to the public and abandoned these reckless plans.”