Boris Johnson's Deputy for Policing refused to rule out cutting the number of police officers in London today after £12 million of cuts were announced across the GLA.
Speaking at today's Budget and Performance Committee, Kit Malthouse told the assembly that 'throwing money' at policing was not the best way of improving the service.
Proof of this was contained within the new Mayor's guidance published today which indicates a real terms reduction in spending on police of anything between 0.5-1.25 per cent.
When questioned by Mike Tuffrey about the cut, Kit Malthouse said:
"Do we think the Met can do a better job on about the same amount of money? Absolutely we do.
"Do we feel that they have the same duty towards taxpayers as every other functional body to squeeze every last penny of value out of every pound that we give them? Absolutely we do.
"The guidance we have given today is intended to start that efficiency process."
Conservative Assembly Member Roger Evans told the assembly that the huge increases in police numbers over the last few years were not the solution to fighting crime:
"I understand the number of people employed by the Met are at record levels and yet we still have problems with crime in London.
"We need to challenge the perception that has grown up in recent years that the solution is to just buy more and more people and to spend more and more money because that has not borne fruit in the past."
While the Troll understands that police numbers alone are not the solution to fighting crime it is even more clear that reducing police numbers certainly isn't the answer either.
But if this relatively minor cut in spending after so many years of increases, is just the beginning of a broader trend of 'efficiencies' at the Met then Boris's hopes of hugely reducing crime look a very long way away.
-UPDATE- Reaction to the police spending cuts from Liberal Democrat Assembly Member Mike Tuffrey is now in the comments.
-UPDATE 2- The Assembly have made a statement on the cuts.