New figures have today shown that the Metropolitan Police has lost over 3,000 officers since May 2010, there are now 30,085 PCs in London. In Tower Hamlets 172 police officers have been lost – a drop of 21%. The Mayor promised he would maintain police numbers ‘at or around 32,000’. Over the same period the Met has also lost 2,265 Police Community Support Officers. Tower Hamlets has lost 84 PCSOs, 67% of the total. Deputy Mayor for policing Stephen Greenhalgh said last year that it would be a “doomsday scenario” for policing if the figure dipped below 31,000.
John Biggs, Local Labour London Assembly Member is calling on the Mayor to reverse his cuts to front line policing and secure a better deal from central government for Londoners. Next week the Mayor will decide whether he will adopt proposed amendments to his budget for 2014/15. The amendment would immediately see 1,185 PCSOs and an extra 250 Safer Transport Team Police Officers recruited using the Mayor’s existing budget to help plug the gap caused by cuts to the policing budget by the Mayor and central government.
John Biggs AM, said: “On Boris Johnson’s watch we’ve seen the erosion of policing in Londonand in our borough, when he stood for re-election he promised to maintain numbers at 32,000 but he has failed to do this. According to his own figures he has cut police officer numbers by over 3,000 and halved PCSOs, which made up the bulk of our local safer neighbourhood teams.
“The Met Police is now the third least visible on the streets compared to other areas of the country. We need a properly resourced police service to tackle crime and provide a much better service to victims. I hope next week he will adopt my budget amendment and start to properly resource our local police teams. The government have cut the policing budget by 20%, the Mayor needs to stand up for Londoners and get a better deal for our city from his colleagues in government.”