Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Police numbers may fall says Boris Johnson Deputy

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. 


Chris said...

Classic campaigning vs reality once in power. As has been seen time and time agian with Tory administrations its very easy to persuade the public that the incumbent doesn't care about crime but not so easy to put your money where your mouth is once you have the chance.

Mike Tuffrey AM (press release) said...

"The Met Police have budgeted for an increase of 2.5% in police spending next year, just to cope with inflation. At a time of rising fuel costs and wage increases, this was always going to be a tough sum to achieve.

Now the Mayor has told the Met Police that they should only budget to spend an extra 1.75% in the next financial year. This means real cuts in spending on London's police service next year.

I am always in favour of looking at ways of making efficiency savings, but the Mayor has failed to say how he can balance the books without job cuts. 80% of the policing budget for London is made up of staff costs."

"Boris Johnson should guarantee now that there will be no real cuts next year in the policing service Londoners receive."

Anonymous said...

I see the, 'Evening Johnson' is giving its usual, 'Spin' to the budget story.

The Troll said...

Yes I'm not sure how spending less money on police is getting 'more bang for your buck' but there you go. That's the Johnson for you.

Anonymous said...

Same old story. 'Taxpayer value' equals swinging cuts. Will we ever learn?

Anonymous said...

So much for priortising the fight against knife crime. I can just see the gangs in London trembling with fear at the thought of less cops on the street whilst youth die tragic deaths Boris goes for his second summer holiday and cuts the police budget.

No doubt police officers will be cheering the fact that less of them will have to do more. Just the moral boost they need as the kids flood the streets for the summer holidays.

Anonymous said...

Recorded crime fell enormously under Ken with the exception of gun and knife crime. More officers have make a real difference. The Evening ( double ) Standard spin is unbelievable. We really need an alternative paper in London.

stuart graham said...

It is one thing making apparently ideological changes such as having a not the anti-racist festival and pleasing the taxpayers in Bromley and Bexley. It is quite another to be so stupid as to cut the police budget. The Evening Boris may well put a spin on it, but they might find out that when the police are concerned and make statements about it, the police will probably be taken more seriously than the Gilligan Show.
But what seems to be astnishing is that Roger Evans states that we need fewer police!
Let's analyse Boris's solution to gun crime:
1. metal detectors (where do they go - on the street corners where stabbings happen - no - public buildings where the assailants rarely go)
2. Cut the met's budget
3. Have fewer police
Boris thinks he's Mayor of Gotham City. dadadadadadadada - Batman!
(or are Batmobiles to be phased out?)

sarah hart said...

Well, getting rid of red tape is obviously more important than safety. I guess the next scheme to be abolished will be the safe cabs and licensed mini-cab scheme.
That'll make women feel safer, too.