London: Four years on (Supplementary) [7]

Session date: 
March 14, 2012
Question By: 
James Cleverly
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Mr Mayor, why do you think it is that the Labour Members are so dismissive of the contribution made by the nearly 6,000 special constables in London? As a member of the Reserve Forces, I am very aware of the contribution that friends and colleagues of mine have made to the defence of the country, and in a very similar vein, those that give up their free time to volunteer as special constables, the nearly 6,000 of them - sorry, it may even be over 6,000 of them now - almost a threefold increase in the numbers. These are fully warranted part-time police officers who are often working at evenings and weekends, where there is the highest demand for that level of visible policing, and yet time after time after time their contribution to London is completely overlooked, cynically overlooked by the left, and I would call upon you at this point in time to recognise the contribution they make and the significant impact they have had on visible policing in London at the times of the day when people want to see police officers.

Supplementary To: 


Answer for London: Four years on (Supplementary) [7]

Answer for London: Four years on (Supplementary) [7]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Yes, absolutely. I mean, I pay tribute to the work done by specials across the City. I believe, Steve [O'Connell], your son is a special, there are members of staff in the Greater London Authority (GLA) who are specials. They do an amazing job. They have the powers of uniform of a fully warranted officer. Actually, we do put, I think, a lot of demands on them and it is vital that we recognise their contribution, but it is also vital that we increase the number of warranted officers as well.

James Cleverly (AM): So, Mr Mayor, will you ensure that when the rather sterile debate happens about pure police numbers, when Members of the left insist that there are fewer uniformed crime fighters on the streets of London, we actually highlight the fact that there has been a massive increase in the number of special constables on the streets of London and they play a very important part?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): I think it is very important that we highlight that. I think the number of specials has more than doubled. I pay tribute to them for all their hard work for London, and yes, it would be nice if that contribution were more vigorously recognised.