Boris: MOPAC doesn’t know how much axing front counters will save

Budget cuts are forcing the Met to reform.

Budget cuts are forcing the Met to reform.

Boris Johnson has been criticised for not knowing the cost of police counters threatened with closure as part of his planned police reforms, or the level of savings expected from their closure.

The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime is currently consulting on plans to reduce the number of front counters and axe local specialist crime squads, changes the Met and MOPAC say will free up more officers for frontline policing.

The reforms have been made necessary by a cut in central Government funding and have also forced the Met to announce plans to sell its Scotland Yard HQ.

Despite the closures forming part of the Met’s cost cutting exercise, the Mayor and MOPAC have been unable to say how much money they cost to operate or how much will be saved.

In response to questions from Joanne McCartney, Labour’s Police on the London Assembly, the Mayor says “Detailed calculations of the financial implications from individual sites have not yet been conducted”.

He says this is because “the final decisions on the estate must await the outcome of the public consultation.”

Assembly Member McCartney has described the failure to calculate the costs and savings as “very worrying”.

She added: “How can the Mayor make decisions about which counters to close down if he doesn’t know how much he will save and how much it will cost to put in a new local contact point?

“It looks like he is scrabbling around in a desperate attempt to deal with 20% cut to the Met’s budget made by the government. It’s shameful that he got such a bad deal for London.”