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'Safety and security' of Londoners at risk if cuts continue says deputy mayor

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In the current context Sophie Linden says the Met cannot afford any further savings or spending reductions.

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Ms Linden believes the Met does not have enough resources to meet its needs

The Deputy Mayor says the “safety and security” of Londoners is under threat if budget cuts to the Metropolitan Police Service continue.

Sophie Linden warned the “fundamental question” of meeting bare minimum funding requirements is not being met and any further reduction will put people at risk.

Addressing London Assembly members at a meeting of the budget and performance committee today, Ms Linden said the force is already bracing itself for several more years of restricted finances.

She said: “The Met are facing one of the most fundamental challenges around keeping this city safe with an increase in violent crime.

“This on top of really significant budget challenges. The Met took £600m out of the budget over the last four years and is expecting another £400m over the next four years.

“On top of that we are facing a funding formula revue which (in its last form) would have cuts of between £184m and £700m.

“These are really, really challenging times and we do not think the Met can take anymore budget cuts or savings.

“If the fundamental question is ‘does this challenge the safety and security of Londoners?’ we think it will if this continues and we have to take police officer numbers out of the police service.

“The position is incredibly challenging, if we continue in this way it is going to be incredibly difficult to keep people safe.”

Met Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey was less forthright but told assembly members the force is “stretched” and if the current threat level is “the new normal” then resource needs would have to be reassessed.

He said: “Do we have the necessary resources to keep Londoners safe? I think clearly at the moment in terms of work we are doing and work over the last three months we have seen a changing situation in and around London.

“We have seen three attacks in the last few weeks and that has put quite a stretch into the system in terms of what we do, that’s not just stretched across counter terrorism command it’s stretched across the policing system.

“We have the resources to cope with what we are doing at the moment, as the Commissioner has said, clearly in light of what we are seeing at the moment what we need to work through collectively is ‘is this the new normal? The new normal level of violence?’ and if it is whether we have the resources needed to deal with it.”

Deputy Commissioner Mackey also told assembly members officers across the capital are “feeling hard pressed” but continue to work “incredibly hard” in the “true spirit” of London.

He added: “If you talk to officers and staff around the boroughs, as I know some of you do, they feel very hard pressed at the moment, there is a lot of work and a lot of demand on the system.

“In the true spirit of the Metropolitan Police Service and the true spirit of this city they are coping incredibly well but they are working incredibly hard to keep us in that situation.”

View on Police Oracle 

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Finally, the penny has dropped. There are not enough Police Officers.

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