Thursday, 4 December 2008

Police Officer numbers to fall under Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson will preside over a substantial decrease in the number of police officers operating in London it was revealed yesterday.

The number of 'Territorial' police officers is expected to decrease by around 955 between 2008 and 2011.

The cuts, highlighted by the Lib Dems during yesterday's chaotic proceedings are contained within the Met's three year business plan, and could lead to a real-terms drop in frontline officers.

Questioned by Dee Doocey, the Met Commissioner insisted that the decrease would be more than made up by a larger increase in the number of 'civilian' staff.

This 'civilianisation programme' would he assured the assembly, actually allow for more police to get out onto the beat.

However, Doocey insisted that this would be impossible, given that the new custody suites required to achieve this, are unlikely to be ready in time.

The possibility of a fall in police numbers was first picked up by this blog in July. Sir Paul Stephenson then admitted that Boris's real-terms police budget cut may have 'a marginal effect' on officer numbers.

At the time Boris Johnson's Deputy insisted that they would get a better performance from the police with fewer resources. Only time will tell if that is the case.


Kit said...

Less police numbers, more police officers...

The Troll said...

That's not the Kit is it by any chance? Actually I think you got it the wrong way round. More staff, fewer officers.

Barry Rochford said...

You've read the figures correctly! It is more staff and less police officers - having more staff is not in priniple wrong - eg handling the bureaucracy.
However, from the man who was going to tackle crime, from the man who was going to see there were more police officers, from the man who was going to see to it that money was to be spent fighting crime, not having advisors ......

The Troll said...

Well exactly. Most people would have expected him to come in and cut funding for from the LDA, but I doubt many londoners would have expected him to come in and cut the police budget. Not after the campaign he ran, and especially after he and the Conservatives made such a hoo hah when Gordon Brown suggested that he (Boris) would.

Boris did make that cut and this is how they're going to balance the books.

From the Assembly's pre-budget report:

"The MPA is in the process of identifying net savings and reductions of £76 million over the previous plan to meet the Mayor's financial planning guidelines in 2009/10, increasing to £128 million in 2010/11 and £177 million in 2011/12. Significant savings have already been
identified; also, ongoing savings made in one year contribute to the targets for future years. However, the MPA identifies a 'budget gap' (savings required but not yet identified) of £26.3 million for 2009/10, £66.8 million in 2010/11 and £117.9 million in 2011/12."

"Kit Malthouse AM acknowledged the scale of reductions that will be necessary, telling us that he expected grants to remain ‘on the floor’ in future years, and confirmed to us that this would mean the Metropolitan Police Authority would be looking for ‘big ticket’ savings in 2010/11 and 2011/12. There are no detailed efficiency proposals to support the MPA’s savings targets, and there is as yet no evidence to demonstrate that the targets are achievable through genuine efficiencies rather than service cuts."

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that there will be more staff and special constables but less real police officers because Boris says we haven't got the money for them. Can someone remind me how much those Routemasters are going to cost us again?

Letters From A Tory said...

By using more civilian staff for admin duties, the number of police officers required for these takes will obviously fall. However, this means that all the police officers being employed will be out on the streets instead of sitting at a desk filling in forms, so actually we're getting better value for money with the same or better protection from the police.

It's really not complicated.

The Troll said...

The thing is LFAT that it is not 'better value for money for the same' as the police budget has been substantially cut. Boris strongly denied that he would cut the budget and then did it anyway. It now remains to be seen whether better service can actually be got for less money and whether replacing police officers with specials and civilians will actually create a better service (especially with the difficulties that Dee Doocey highlights.) As I said above, we will have to wait to see what the results of this will be, but I don't think it is as straightforward as you make it out.