Dismore: the Met can’t cope with another £1 billion in cuts

Speaking after the Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s comments that up to 8,000 police officers may be lost as a result of Government cuts, Labour London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden  Andrew Dismore AM said:

‘The Commissioner’s warning of a return to the 1970s show just how wrong the  Conservative Home Secretary is,  in her  claim that her cuts to the police force are not hitting the front line. London can’t cope with another £1billion of cuts on top of the £600 million so far.

‘Since 2010 under the Conservatives, Camden has already lost 215 police officers and 88 PCSOs; and Barnet has lost 73 police officers and 120 PCSOs. Across London, we have lost 1,360 police officers and 2,782 PCSOs, with plans now afoot to scrap all the capital’s remaining PCSOs. Losing another 8,000 officers would more than decimate the police force and stretch the already ‘thin blue line’ beyond breaking point.

‘There’s no doubt that cuts to neighbourhood policing have already had a massive impact, with violent crime on the rise. With the Commissioner now warning about London’s ability to respond to major incidents and terrorist attacks there can be no doubt about the danger the Home Secretary’s cuts are creating in the capital.

‘The Met are already considering abolishing the rest of the PCSOs; abolishing a whole rank (probably Chief Inspectors);  merging boroughs so we no longer have a locally accountable  police force; selling off ¾ of the remaining  estate with yet more police station closures; and wholesale privatisation of non front line services. Yet the Commissioner has made clear that putting all those plans together, it would still not be enough to meet the Conservative

Government’s cuts target. With £4 in every £5 going on pay, front line cuts in officer numbers on this enormous scale become inevitable.

‘The first duty of any Government is to protect the public- but the Conservatives have completely forgotten that, in their drive to cut services beyond the bone.

‘I will be asking the Deputy Commissioner what projection he has made of the likely impact of this scale of cuts in police officer numbers for Barnet and Camden, at next week’s City Hall Police Committee meeting on Thursday morning 22nd October. Cuts on this scale could well  be into three figures for  the Assembly constituency.’