Mayor: Police numbers falling ‘dangerously’ low

21 September 2017

Taking questions from London Assembly members on Wednesday, the Mayor urged the Chancellor to pledge more money for the Met in the autumn Budget, following the terrorist attacks in Westminster, Manchester, London Bridge, Finsbury Park and Parsons Green.

Cuts to police budgets over the past seven years mean the number of officers in the capital is at risk of falling below 30,000 for the first time since 2003.

Nearly 3,000 police community support officers have been lost in London and most station front counters have closed.

“We are now in real danger of officer numbers dropping dangerously low,” the Mayor said.

“The Met’s budget is on a cliff edge and forces across the country are having to make impossible choices to protect the frontline.”

It comes amid a sharp rise in terrorist activity across Europe, with five attacks in the UK since March.

Most recently, a homemade bomb left on a Tube train at Parsons Green station in south-west London wounded 30 people on 15 September.

Despite the challenges facing police, terrorism-related arrests have significantly increased, with Home Office figures showing a 68 percent rise in such arrests to 379 in the year to June – the highest since records began in 2001.

Addressing the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee, the Mayor also urged Londoners to help the police by remaining alert and reporting unusual incidents.

”All of us has a responsibility to keep our city safe - 8.7 million eyes and ears are more powerful than 31,000 eyes and ears,” he said.

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