Metropolitan Police ''to lose 4,700 posts''
20 November 2012
The Metropolitan Police is said to be looking to lose 4,700 posts – 1,200 of them above sergeant and the rest civilian positions. At the same time, however, it has been announced that 2,000 new constables will be taken on.
The Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime issued this statement: "For the first time in recent history we have a balanced budget so we know where the savings need to come from. This budget involved some difficult decisions on staff reductions, but these civilian staff will be offered generous voluntary exit terms and the most important result is that the Met will continue to have around 32,000 [police officers] keeping London safe."
However, the London Assembly's police and crime committee expressed concern that the Met was planning to cut 25 per cent of all sergeants and senior officers as well as civilian staff. Labour London Assembly police and crime spokesperson Joanne McCartney insisted that the proposals would "jeopardise the safety and security of Londoners".
This latest announcement confirms that the Metropolitan Police is starting to feel the effects of a 20 per cent cut in funding from central government, she said, pointing out that it was recently announced that New Scotland Yard would be sold off, 891 police community support officers would be lost, and up to 65 police stations would be replaced with 'contact points'.
The committee said the Mayor of London Boris Johnson had already revealed he might not be able to keep his election promise to have 1,000 more police officers in London than when he took office. And while it had been agreed that the government could cut the policing budget by 12 per cent and not hit frontline services, the cut has been 20 per cent.
McCartney said: "Losing a quarter of our police sergeants will be a body blow to neighbourhood policing. They are our local police leaders who are absolutely critical in keeping communities safe. Boris cut 150 police sergeants last year, so the numbers are already too low. We need the right mixture of police officers, sergeants, and senior police leaders. These proposed cuts will fundamentally undermine this mix."
She added: "Losing 3,500 civilian staff will also have a real impact on policing in the capital. We already know that police officers are filling back-office roles. These new cuts will exacerbate the problem and lead to fewer police officers on the beat. In the last two years the Met has already lost 1,956 police officers, 1,800 PCSOs and over 1,330 civilian staff.
"The Met are announcing these latest cuts without any consultation with Londoners and we can only assume that Boris fully supports them. The Mayor and the government are cutting too far, too fast. They are jeopardising the safety and security of Londoners. It is time they listened to the public and abandoned these reckless plans."