Two policemen patrolling the street

News from Joanne McCartney: Bobbies pulled off the beat for over 297 shifts in Enfield every month

14 March 2016

Enfield’s police officers are being routinely ‘abstracted’ from their local beats to plug gaps in London-wide public order operations new figures have revealed. The new data found that 297 officer shifts on average are being lost from Enfield police force every month according to Metropolitan Police statistics provided to Labour’s London Assembly policing spokesperson Joanne McCartney.

The latest figures showed that on average, Enfield officers were removed from their local beat for 297 shifts per month. In the first nine months of 2015, the latest period for which data is available, 2670 neighbourhood policing shifts were lost to abstractions in Enfield. Across the capital 78,640  shifts were lost in 2015, more than 1,500 a week.

The Metropolitan police said that the officer shifts were provided by boroughs to “support London wide Public Order operations.” These kind of operations generally include large scale events in other parts of the capital.

The revelation comes after Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) included the Metropolitan Police in a list of 18 England and Wales forced “requiring improvement” after recent inspections. HMIC highlighted that a shortage of trained detectives and basic equipment is undermining their ability to reduce crime and keep people safe as well as raising concerns about the capacity of staff charged with preventing reoffending.

Labour London Assembly Member for Enfield and Haringey, Joanne McCartney AM said:

“When officers are being removed from Enfield’s streets 297 times a month it’s incredibly misleading of the Mayor to claim they are local bobbies.

“Londoners want neighbourhood police to be visible in their communities not pulled off the beat to plug gaps in other parts of London.

“The Mayor’s cuts have meant neighbourhood police teams in Enfield have already lost 166 uniformed officers since 2010. To then further reduce local teams by over 297 officer shifts a month damages the capacity of local policing teams to police their neighbourhoods.

“At the heart of concerns set out in the latest HMIC report is a shortage of both police officers and funding with HMIC finding that the lack of trained detectives and basic equipment is undermining their ability to reduce crime and keep people safe. This won’t be helped by regularly removing officers from boroughs.”

Notes to editors

  • Data on police abstractions in 2015, broken down by borough, from Mayor’s Questions can be found here . Data on police abstractions in 2014 from Mayors Questions can be found here.


  • The number of officers lost from London Boroughs since 2010 can be seen in the table below. This data is provided monthly by the London Datastore and can be accessed here.



Uniformed officers assigned to Enfield  







Number decline since May 10


Percentage Decline since May 10



  • Joanne McCartney AM is the London Assembly Member for Enfield and Haringey.

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