The Met is being asset stripped by the Mayor of London

10th February, 2013 1:55 pm

We owe a continuing debt of gratitude to the men and women of the Metropolitan Police. They are in general superb public servants, doing a very difficult and very important job extremely well. The Met were rightly praised for their work during the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee last year but it is the less high profile work they do – the bread and butter of policing work; their contribution to keeping our communities safe, pursuing criminals and supporting victims which remains fundamental and which the overwhelming majority do with considerable skill and dedication.

Nevertheless the future of policing in London is under scrutiny and with good reason. Under the stewardship of the Mayor of London and the Conservative Party the Metropolitan Police has already seen a drop of over 4,000 police officers; PCs and PCSOs, on London’s streets since the General Election, a period when the capital saw major riots take place and growing concern about gang violence.

A cut of almost 20% in the Government’s grant to the Metropolitan Police, supported by the Mayor and the Government is the driving factor behind the cuts to police funding that are now being debated across London.

Using a choice of statistics, which the characters of the Thick of It would have been proud of, the Mayor’s Plan promises more police recruitment. The truth however is that there will be dramatically fewer police officers by 2015 and that those police officers will be significantly less experienced than now.

On the figures the Mayor of London has published two-thirds of boroughs will still have fewer police officers by the end of 2015 then they had at the time of the last General Election. Indeed there will be at least 1,133 fewer police officers according to the Mayor’s Office. As estimates for the number of PCSOs per borough have not been published but with further substantial cuts to PCSO recruitment likely; 1,100 by 2015/16 according to the Greater London Assembly Police and Crime Committee, every borough will by the next election have significantly fewer uniformed police officers in total patrolling their streets than they did in 2010.

Whilst the Mayor’s plan is at pains to appear committed to Safer Neighbourhood policing – it certainly retains the language, in practice it’s clear in Boris’s plans that model is over. Local police teams are being squashed. Instead of each community in Harrow for example having at least 1 sergeant, 3 PCs and 3 PCSOs only 1 PC and 1 PCSO will be left dedicated just to that community. In my constituency the areas of West Harrow, Rayners Lane and North Harrow will go from having 28 uniformed police officers dedicated to these communities to just 8.

This drop in police numbers is noteworthy of itself but comparing the number and percentage of crimes solved reveals that a sharp drop in the number and crucially the percentage of crimes being solved. 22,600 fewer crimes were solved in London in 2011/12 compared to 2009/10 and the percentage of crimes solved dropped to 21.6%. These figures are perhaps not surprising either when cuts to number of prosecutors available to the Crown Prosecution Service in London are taken into account.

The Met is set to lose vital experienced police officers. By 2015 there will be considerably fewer sergeants (some estimates suggest 1,300 will be axed). Inspectors and chief inspectors are also being axed and superintendents’ numbers are also being cut. The Mayor’s plan describes these positions as “supervisory grades” In truth these roles, and crucially the experience and skill mix of the senior staff in these positions are fundamental to the effective pursuit of the criminal, the passage of the accused through the legal process and the sensitive support of the victim.

There still remains a huge need for more black and ethnic minority officers be to be recruited into the senior ranks of the Metropolitan Police. It is good news that the Commissioner wants to see new measures to address this problem but there is little evidence that Home Office Ministers are driving this agenda.

The Metropolitan Police Service is one of the great assets London has. It deserves inspired political leadership. Instead it is being asset stripped by the Mayor of London and ordinary Londoners will be the ones who lose out.

Gareth Thomas is Shadow Minister for Civil Society and Deputy Shadow Minister for London

To report anything from the comment section, please e-mail [email protected]
  • Quiet_Sceptic

    I’m not sure the author understands what asset stripping is, Boris is cutting police funding and very likely reducing the quality of policing but that is not asset stripping. Asset stripping would be selling off the Met’s assets, like their estate (police stations, offices etc) or vehicles.

    • JoeDM

      What? And allow accuracy of language spoil a good spin story !!!!!! That would never do.

      This is yet another example of why politicians are not trusted.

Latest

  • Featured News Momentum set to mobilise thousands to back Corbyn this weekend

    Momentum set to mobilise thousands to back Corbyn this weekend

    Corbynite pressure group Momentum is expected to muster thousands of activists in a series of emergency rallies to counter what it describes as the “deeply undemocratic” efforts to oust Jeremy Corbyn. In response to the no confidence vote earlier this week, the left-wing faction has organised rallies and events in order to demonstrate grassroots support for Corbyn, as well as his anti-war and anti-austerity policies. Protests have been planned in Manchester, Liverpool, Exeter, Plymouth, Penzance for the weekend, as well as emergency meetings to bring together […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News McDonnell: Rebels’ leadership bid will land in the “next few days”

    McDonnell: Rebels’ leadership bid will land in the “next few days”

      John McDonnell today confirmed expectations that Jeremy Corbyn would face a leadership election in the “next few days” as he used a Brexit speech to highlight the imminent “end” of freedom of movement. The shadow Chancellor repeated his vow never to stand as Labour leader and struck a relaxed tone, after a week of turmoil, as he told backbench MPs to “calm down”. McDonnell, a longstanding ally of Corbyn, confirmed he would chair his friend’s campaign once again as expectations […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Scotland Dugdale and Khan join forces to protect jobs after Brexit vote

    Dugdale and Khan join forces to protect jobs after Brexit vote

    Sadiq Khan and Kezia Dugdale today vowed to work together to protect London and Scotland from an economic hit after the Brexit vote. In a move drawing together the two areas of the UK which voted overwhelmingly to stay in the European Union – as well as Northern Ireland – the pair developed plans for how both economies could withstand the economic turmoil of leaving the EU. The politicians are expected to stay in regular contact throughout the Brexit negotiations […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured Alison McGovern: We may have a Brexit hangover but now is the time to listen to Labour’s local leaders

    Alison McGovern: We may have a Brexit hangover but now is the time to listen to Labour’s local leaders

    Politics and government are different activities and while the corridors of power are buzzing with the former, the latter is in short supply. Westminster at the moment is in a state of paralysis, poleaxed by a referendum result that few wanted and even fewer predicted. But across the rest of the country, the show goes on. It is notable the first off the blocks in response to Brexit were leaders of devolved administrations, in Scotland, Wales and London. While Westminster […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News LIVEBLOG: Afternoon round-up

    LIVEBLOG: Afternoon round-up

    Corbyn is still putting together a new frontbench as speculation rises about the intentions of Angela Eagle and Owen Smith. While the Labour Party is in limbo, we will bring you all the news as it comes. Friday – 15.44 Hello all, here’s your afternoon round-up of what’s gone on within the Labour party so far today.  1) Angela Rayner has been promoted to shadow Education Secretary Jeremy bringing together Education Women & Equalities in Shadow Cabinet to directly hold Nicky […]

    Read more →
x

LabourList Daily Email

Everything Labour. Every weekday morning

Share with your friends










Submit