Commissioner warns of falling officer numbers amid budget cuts
Commissioner Cressida Dick has warned that the Met could lose 3,000 officers if it is forced to save an additional £400m – on top of the £600m it has already saved.
The Commissioner made the comments at a hearing of the Home Affairs Select Committee yesterday, during which she was questioned on a range of issues from budget cuts to counter-terrorism.
She said the Met could go down to around 27,500 officers, down from the current 30,000. That is nearly 6,000 officers fewer than in 2009.
And she told MPs that the force’s ability to deal with extremism and violent crime would be adversely affected in the face of “unprecedented” budget cuts.
She said: “Without more funding quite soon I am really concerned that will be very difficult to maintain.
“I am really concerned that we won’t be able to respond to what I anticipate will be one of the logical conclusions of the counter-terrorism review, which is that we need to do more through neighbourhood policing to stop people from becoming violent extremists.
“I am concerned that other aspects of preventative work will be very hard for my service to do.”
The Commissioner praised the “Herculean” efforts of officers in their response to increasing violent crime in the capital.
But she warned that the Met would have to be “ruthless” about some demands in the face of cuts, admitting she was “very concerned” about the force’s future budget.
She also praised the “compassion, resilience and endurance” of Met officers responding to the attacks on London Bridge and the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
But she cautioned that counter-terrorism investigations are putting “considerable strain” on the force.
See the full hearing here: http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/23dd0cbf-6502-4732-a66f-224faf4ca73f