Sian Berry publication

News from Siân Berry: Half of borough police officers live outside London

16 June 2016

Half of borough police officers live outside London

London Assembly Member Sian Berry has revealed that half of London’s borough police officers live outside London.

A report published today includes borough-by-borough data on where local police officers live.[1]  Only 49 per cent of borough officers live anywhere within Greater London.

These figures have not improved despite Met initiatives to recruit more officers who live in the capital.  To attract more people living in London to apply the Met removed commuting allowances, introduced residency criteria for new recruits that required applicants to have lived in London for at least 3 of the last 6 years. [2]

The report also reveals, in many inner London boroughs only a tiny number of officers actually live amongst the communities they serve every day. An average of 8 per cent of officers live in the borough that they work: just one officer in Islington, two in Kensington and Chelsea and four in Southwark.

The report says housing costs may play a part in where officers choose to live once they have been recruited, as average rents now exceeds 50 per cent of the take-home pay of a new police constable.[3]

Sian says:

“If the police service is to have a real understanding of London’s diverse boroughs and communities, we have to recruit and retain more officers who don’t just look like the people they serve but who come from and live in our communities.”

“With little progress made, the Mayor, Met Commissioner and new Deputy Mayor for Policing must revisit the issue of where our police live. Promises to achieve ambitious goals for ethnic and gender balance depend on making more effective plans to recruit from within London.  They should also give officers incentives to stay in London when their family circumstances and housing needs change.”

Mayor Sadiq Khan’s manifesto promised to: “Promote a police force that looks like the communities it is charged with keeping safe, with the aim of having a Met that is as diverse as London’s population.” [4]

Notes to editors



Sian Berry was elected as a Green member of the London Assembly in May 2016. She was the Green Party candidate for Mayor of London in 2016, coming third and bettering her 2008 result of fourth place.  She has been a councillor for Highgate ward in Camden since 2014. 

1. The full report can be read online here:

2. Answer to MQ 2015/2728

3. Comparison with private rented market statistics on average rents from Valuation Officer Agency

4. Sadiq Khan Manifesto


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