City Hall has dismissed claims by Southwark council that almost 200 police officers have been axed from the borough during the past two years.
The Labour-controlled borough claims that 194 officers have been removed from the local force, depleting its 2010 headcount of 957 police officers and 112 PSCOs.
Residents are being urged to sign a petition calling on Mayor Boris Johnson, who oversees the Met, “to increase police numbers on the streets”.
However City Hall says the council is citing inaccurate figures because its comparison fails to take into account a 2011 change in how officers are counted.
In that year the management of 910 officers moved from local forces to the Met’s central command although many continue to work in the boroughs.
This change meant the 2011 headcount of locally managed officers for Southwark was 814.
Commenting on the petition, a spokesperson for the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime said: “Simply repeating these erroneous claims about a big cut in borough numbers does not make them true.”
The spokesperson added: “The number of officers working in neighbourhoods in Southwark will almost treble from the 62 there were in 2011 to 178 by next year – an increase of 116 with the majority of these new officers already in post.”
“This is one of the highest increases in London and means that there are far more opportunities for these officers to fight crime and engage with the local community.
“Our changes to local policing are delivering results in Southwark with 2,300 fewer crimes committed over the last year to date – a reduction of over 7 per cent.”