A lack of promotion prospects risks driving experienced Met police officers out of the force, according to City Hall Labour.
Official figures provided to London Assembly member Andrew Dismore show that while 3,194 police officers have passed their sergeant’s exam, there will be just 405 vacancies over the next two years.
The figures also show that 1,287 police sergeants who passed their inspector’s exam will have to compete for 212 vacancies over the same period.
Promotion opportunities are being affected by plans to reduce the number of supervising officers – Sergeants and above – within the Met in order to keep frontline policing numbers high while also meeting budget cuts.
The London Police and Crime Plan, launched earlier this year by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, will reduce the number of supervising officers from 7,160 to 6,022 by 2015.
Scotland Yard says this change will bring the Met’s ratio of PCs to supervising officers closer to the levels in other forces.
Briefing the media on the crime plan in January, Met bosses said there would be fewer opportunities for promotion but that officers at all ranks would enjoy greater responsibilities and play a bigger part in fighting crime.
However Labour say the lack of promotion prospects could see officers leaving the Met for other forces, or quit the police altogether.
Mr Dismore said officers had studied hard for qualifications, “only to see their dreams of advancement in their chosen career of public service shattered.”
He added: “We are already seeing an erosion of supervision of less experienced and newly qualified police officers under Boris Johnson’s new policing plan. We are now running the risk of losing even more of our most experienced officers and sergeants.”
Responding to Mr Dismore’s comments, a Met spokesperson said: “The Met are putting more constables on the streets than ever before and we have already stated that promotions will not be as frequent as they have been in the past.
“We are committed to developing talent and there will be opportunities for promotion, but we have to be realistic that a change to our management ratios means fewer senior posts in the future. However, there will be promotions again within the next few months, and the Met continues to provide great career opportunities.”