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Deputy Mayor Reveals 'Worst Case' Officer Cuts

Four per cent reduction to officer numbers in three years is the 'doomsday' scenario for the Met, says Stephen Greenhalgh

The Metropolitan Police will at most lose four per cent of its officers over the next three years, London’s Deputy Mayor for Policing Stephen Greenhalgh has told MPs.

But addressing the Home Affairs Select Committee Mr Greenhalgh said this figure was a “worst case, doomsday scenario” and the force and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime were drawing up plans to minimise the impact on officer numbers.

The Met had 31,458 officers as of August this year and a further four per cent drop would equate to around 1200. Mr Greenhalgh said he was working with the force on developing a strategy that would set the direction for “the next 10 to 20 years”.

In July, HMIC expressed concerns that the Met had yet not come up with a plan to save £233 million from budget by 2015.

Mr Greenhalgh appeared before Home Affairs Select Committee members in Westminster where he provided an update on progress to plug the gap.

He told MPs that any reduction in officer numbers would mean he would have “failed” to deliver the Mayor's manifesto commitment to maintain officer numbers.

Under questioning from committee members, he admitted that the force did not yet have a comprehensive plan to save the money but would have outline of one by the end of the year.

He hinted at areas where he wanted to see the force reorganised and money saved.

Among them, he said he was concerned the Met had more supervising officers than other forces, adding the force had roughly one sergeant to every four constables while the national average was closer to one sergeant to five constables.

He added some facts about the force baffled him, such as retaining 800 in-house IT staff despite having outsourced much of force's IT to a private company. He added the force had more lockers than officers – roughly 56,000.

In concluding the committee hearing, Chairman Keith Vaz said: “We are fascinated to know what is in those 25,000 extra lockers and where they may be.”

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