The Metropolitan Police faces a budget shortfall after failing to reduce the number of senior officers to meet cuts in its Home Office and City Hall funding.
As part of wide ranging changes contained in the Mayor’s Police and Crime Plan, the Met is reducing senior officers and recruiting more front line officers to bring its ratio of managers to front line officers more into line with the national average.
However a report to the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee from Policing Deputy Mayor Stephen Greenhalgh reveals the force has made insufficient progress to balance its books.
In his report, Mr Greenhalgh says: “The expected profile of Police Officer [Full Time Equivalents] during the year indicates a reduction in senior ranks, offset by an increase in Constables, however this movement in rank mix will not be sufficient to match the budgeted plan.”
Labour’s policing spokesperson on the London Assembly, Joanne McCartney AM, said Mr Greenhalgh’s report proved the Mayor and Government had cut the police budget “too far.”
Ms McCartney added: “Crime has fallen but certain types of crime like Domestic Violence, Gross Bodily Harm and Theft from a Person are rising. It is more important than ever that we maintain the police presence on our streets and make them safer.
“The Mayor is desperately scrabbling around trying to make it look like he’s not cutting the front line but the facts don’t lie. If he put as much effort into getting a good deal from government as he does rearranging the deck chairs, then maybe we wouldn’t be in this mess.”
The Deputy Mayor’s report also reveals the Met is facing further budget pressures because “costs for unsociable hours allowance are higher than anticipated.”