Scotland Yard has refused to say whether the budget for providing protection for senior officers will fall in line with the sums available for frontline policing.
The Met is under pressure to deliver £500m of savings over the next three years.
To meet its reduced budget the force has announced plans to close front counters and abolish local specialist crime squads dedicated to tackling issues such as street crime and burglary.
Middle ranks will also be squeezed, with fewer Sergeants and Inspectors overseeing front line officers. Some boroughs will see their local commanders reduced in rank to cut salary costs.
Hundreds of civilian posts have already beed axed, a move Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe has said will reduce the support available to frontline officers.
Over the past few months a succession of senior Met officers have appeared before the London Assembly and at public consultation meetings to defend the cuts.
At each appearance they have denied claims that the reforms will make Londoners less safe or make the force less accessible to the public.
Despite defending the spending reductions on public policing, the Met has refused to say whether budgets for senior officers’ protection will also be subject to cuts.
Answering an FOI request by this site, Scotland Yard says “there is a public interest in confirming whether named police officers are the subject of protection, as this information would provide the general public with a greater understanding of the ranks, roles and/or responsibilities of police officers that attract specific protection.”
However it has claimed exemption from serving that public interest, insisting that the information “would highlight which police officers are not protected and where protection is in place, the extent of that protection” and “make police officers targets and place them at greater risk.”
City Hall insiders have expressed concern that a failure to reassure the public the budget cuts are being shared equally across the Met will undermine public confidence in the force.
Assembly Members of all parties have long been critical of the Met’s excessive perks for senior officers which includes accommodation and driving senior officers around London at a cost of more than £1.6m per year.
However Tony Arbour, who sits on the Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee, has praised Commissioner Hogan-Howe for “chipping away” at Scotland Yard’s perks culture.
Mr Arbour singled out Hogan-Howe’s decision “to sell the £2 million penthouse flat overlooking the Thames” used by former Commissioners as being especially praiseworthy.
However on the issue of police protection, Mr Arbour said: “I don’t doubt there is still a long way to go and, knowing how risk averse the Met is, I am sure they still put out all the stops when it comes to their own protection.
“I think they go too far as it is when protecting politicians and so-called VIPs – wandering around Parliament with these alarming guns.”