Force announces that Met Police numbers to dip below 30,000
The number of Metropolitan Police officers is expected to fall to 30,000 by April, and further by 2021 - as the Met announces changes to local policing.
The force is introducing Basic Command Units that will replace the Met's current 32 borough model. There will be 12 BCUs.
A statement from the force stated: “It remains the case that the Met continues to face a significant financial challenge, alongside increasing demand, and must make savings of £325m by 2021/22. Our police officer numbers are expected to fall to 30,000 by April, and further by 2021.
“We need to plan for a future with less, and become more resilient so we can continue to meet our financial and operational challenges, and our current and future policing challenges - terrorism and safeguarding in particular. Without significant changes in how we manage our resources we would be unable to meet these head on.”
The 12 Basic Command Units (BCUs) are:
Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster,
Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Wandsworth
Bromley, Croydon, Sutton
Bexley, Greenwich, Lewisham
Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge
Ealing, Hillingdon, Hounslow
Hackney, Tower Hamlets
Barnet, Brent, Harrow
Newham, Waltham Forest
Asistant Commissioner Mark Simmons said: "Local policing is at the heart of what the Met does every day, and we will improve it further by offering a service that is more personal and responsive to the needs of Londoners.
"BCUs will allow us to put first victims of crime and those people who need us the most. Our new structure will also give us the resilience and consistency we need across the whole of London, so we can continue to respond to large scale incidents and meet the financial and operational challenges we are facing."
The roll-out across London will be staggered over the next 12 months following the decision.
The first of the boroughs to come together will be Ealing, Hillingdon and Hounslow; and Kingston, Merton, Richmond and Wandsworth.
According to the force, the new BCU structure “will see more officers responding to emergency calls across borough boundaries to fit with local needs and help those people who need us the most.
“Response officers will also be trained to investigate some of the crimes they attend rather than passing them onto other officers. This will provide a better service to victims and allow CID colleagues to concentrate on more serious crimes and proactive work.
“We will continue to deal with a greater proportion of crime online or over the telephone, to give the public greater choice about how they contact us and reduce demand on response officers.”