Meeting London’s Current and Future Policing Needs (Supplementary) [2]

Session date: 
December 9, 2014
Question By: 
Joanne McCartney
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
Boris Johnson

Question

Thank you.  My question now then is to the Mayor, if I may.  When the cuts to policing were first announced three-odd years ago, there were reports and in this Chamber many people warned that anything above a 12% cut to policing would affect the frontline.  You said then that the MPS could make 20% at that point without affecting the frontline.  I think we have seen the frontline being affected by those 20% cuts.

 

Mr Mayor, can I just put it to you that we have heard about the risks to the future.  Is it fair to say, do you believe, that by the time you leave office you will have left London’s policing in a bit of a mess financially --

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  On the contrary.

 

Joanne McCartney AM -- with a major black hole and a very difficult job for the next Mayor to actually fill?

Answer

Answer for Meeting London’s Current and Future Policing Needs (Supplementary) [2]

Answer for Meeting London’s Current and Future Policing Needs (Supplementary) [2]

Answered By: 
Boris Johnson

No, on the contrary.  What we have shown is that the challenge to reduce costs by 20%, which is what we said as part of the MOPAC challenge was 20% reduction in crime and 20% reduction in costs, we are on target to do that.  Crime is down by 18% --

 

Joanne McCartney AM:  I am talking about finances, Mr Mayor.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  -- as I have said, and there have been very substantial savings indeed - including, by the way, the announcement that we made this morning.  They are being accompanied by great gains in efficiency which are leading, as I say, to our ability to do more with less.  That is obviously what we are all about.  We have been able to rationalise the estate and save £240 million last year.  The target saving is £234 million for 2014/15 and we are confident that the MPS will come in under budget by the end of the year.

 

Your point, and I think Bernard’s point, is really about the future, beyond the election, beyond the election in May next year to what is likely to be the situation in 2016/17, what is the budgetary position then.  That is something we have experience of.  We have been here before.  We were faced with what we were told were going to be the most swingeing cuts in history in 2010 and we went in to fight for London and we were able to secure a very good settlement.  I have no doubt that we will be able to do the same again.  We have been here before.  The arguments for investing in policing in London remain as strong as they have ever been.