Police cuts will ‘decimate London’ warns Tower Hamlets mayor Biggs

Police patrol

Police patrol - Credit: Archant

Police are drawing up plans to axe all local support officers across London which are being unveiled at the Met’s Management Board meeting on Tuesday.

Support officers on walkabout with police in Bow

Support officers on walkabout with police in Bow - Credit: TH Council

There are currently 32 support officers covering London’s East End, for example, all of whom it is feared could face the axe if the plans go ahead.

The cuts, revealed in latest Metropolitan Police data, could see neighbourhood policing teams reduced to just a single officer, Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs warmed.

“This is the clearest sign yet that government cuts are decimating London’s police force,” he said. “Axing support officers would be the final nail in the coffin for neighbourhood policing.”

It would mean a drastic reduction from six officers just three years ago which consisted of three support officers, two Pcs and a police sergeant.

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs - Credit: Archant

Mayor Biggs, who also represents east London at City Hall, is calling on London Mayor Boris Johnson to halt the cuts and start “proper consultations” with the public.

“Boris Johnson has already cut neighbourhood police teams from six officers to just two,” he added. “This means far fewer officers on the beat acting as the eyes and ears of the Met—axing every police support officer would leave just a single officer left to police vast areas.”

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The worries that the police service “won’t exist as we know it” in 10 years’ time, with £800 million being lobbed off London’s policing budget now hanging over the Met. A thousand support officers could be lost from the streets.

The cuts would come on top of previous reductions of support officer ranks, with 94 lost from Tower Hamlets alone—three-quarters of the numbers since 2010.