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'Safety and security' of Londoners at risk if cuts continue says deputy mayor

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In the current context Sophie Linden says the Met cannot afford any further savings or spending reductions.

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Ms Linden believes the Met does not have enough resources to meet its needs

The Deputy Mayor says the “safety and security” of Londoners is under threat if budget cuts to the Metropolitan Police Service continue.

Sophie Linden warned the “fundamental question” of meeting bare minimum funding requirements is not being met and any further reduction will put people at risk.

Addressing London Assembly members at a meeting of the budget and performance committee today, Ms Linden said the force is already bracing itself for several more years of restricted finances.

She said: “The Met are facing one of the most fundamental challenges around keeping this city safe with an increase in violent crime.

“This on top of really significant budget challenges. The Met took £600m out of the budget over the last four years and is expecting another £400m over the next four years.

“On top of that we are facing a funding formula revue which (in its last form) would have cuts of between £184m and £700m.

“These are really, really challenging times and we do not think the Met can take anymore budget cuts or savings.

“If the fundamental question is ‘does this challenge the safety and security of Londoners?’ we think it will if this continues and we have to take police officer numbers out of the police service.

“The position is incredibly challenging, if we continue in this way it is going to be incredibly difficult to keep people safe.”

Met Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey was less forthright but told assembly members the force is “stretched” and if the current threat level is “the new normal” then resource needs would have to be reassessed.

He said: “Do we have the necessary resources to keep Londoners safe? I think clearly at the moment in terms of work we are doing and work over the last three months we have seen a changing situation in and around London.

“We have seen three attacks in the last few weeks and that has put quite a stretch into the system in terms of what we do, that’s not just stretched across counter terrorism command it’s stretched across the policing system.

“We have the resources to cope with what we are doing at the moment, as the Commissioner has said, clearly in light of what we are seeing at the moment what we need to work through collectively is ‘is this the new normal? The new normal level of violence?’ and if it is whether we have the resources needed to deal with it.”

Deputy Commissioner Mackey also told assembly members officers across the capital are “feeling hard pressed” but continue to work “incredibly hard” in the “true spirit” of London.

He added: “If you talk to officers and staff around the boroughs, as I know some of you do, they feel very hard pressed at the moment, there is a lot of work and a lot of demand on the system.

“In the true spirit of the Metropolitan Police Service and the true spirit of this city they are coping incredibly well but they are working incredibly hard to keep us in that situation.”

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Well, according to what I have seen on the news reports, austerity, and from that I assume the drastic cuts in all quarters, is now going to come to an end. We will see if that does indeed to turn out to be the case (let's hope so).

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On 14/06/2017 at 13:00, Westie said:

Well, according to what I have seen on the news reports, austerity, and from that I assume the drastic cuts in all quarters, is now going to come to an end. We will see if that does indeed to turn out to be the case (let's hope so).

Where do you think the money to pay for the end of so-called austerity is going to come from?  This country already has large deficit and if we continue spending at our current levels this can only get worse and lead to even more tremendous economic problems in the future. All political parties wish to remain in power so they bribe the electorate with cash and other benefits to elect them and when it becomes apparent reductions in public expenditure are required they are either afraid of losing power and surrender to those who care nothing for the Country's economic future or they bite the bullet, do the correct thing and suffer the opprobrium of the public at large.

I actually allow myself a wry smile when I hear talk of austerity. I am old enough to remember the 1950s quite well and austerity really did exist then.  Most of the people who think we are living in a time of austerity  don't really know what they are talking about.

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The money could come from the overseas budgets, but it won't. On the Logistics of the whole thing, where are the officers going to come from. It takes time to advertise, recruit, and train to a level where they can actually do the basics of training. It is very easy to lose numbers but extremely difficult and time consuming to replace the. This on't a guesstimate but, I would think that it would take 5 years minimum to recruit and train to manning levels of pre Winsor as Austerity.

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13 minutes ago, Zulu 22 said:

The money could come from the overseas budgets, but it won't. On the Logistics of the whole thing, where are the officers going to come from. It takes time to advertise, recruit, and train to a level where they can actually do the basics of training. It is very easy to lose numbers but extremely difficult and time consuming to replace the. This on't a guesstimate but, I would think that it would take 5 years minimum to recruit and train to manning levels of pre Winsor as Austerity.

I suspect your estimate of 5 years is not too far out.

I also agree that the funding could, and probably should, come from the Foreign Aid Budget. However, no matter which party is in power that particular source of cash appears to be sacrosanct. 

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When the Queen spoke in the state opening of parliament, one item was along the lines of 'my government will continue to improve the finances of the country while keeping taxes low' Why is Ms. May still continuing to talk about keeping taxes low. It is the income from income taxes that is used for public services, which among other things, includes what is needed for the Police Service and the N.H.S.

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18 hours ago, Zulu 22 said:

At least she is not promising the unaffordable like a certain Jeremy Corbyn.

This is so true and it appears to me that if a political party or an individual politician tells the truth about the potential economic situation we face in the future they are doomed to failure.  All parties seem to win elections by promising the earth to the electorate in the form of low taxation or increased benefits of one sort another which involves more spending.  

I would like to see a cross-party group of politicians, assisted by the most reputable of economists and bankers lay out to the electorate exactly what will happen to our economy if we continue spending at the rate we have been doing for some time now. I doubt if many members of the Labour Party would be willing to participate in such a venture because all they seem to do is make promises about what they intend doing without  identifying where the money will come from.  It should be made abundantly plain to all that governments have no money other than that which they receive from us in the form of taxes or by borrowing.  And even the borrowed money has to be paid back by the taxpayer.

   

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Any party offering University Students no tuition fees and thus saving them at least £27,000 is going to get their vote. If someone offered me £27,000 to vote for them I might just think about it.

For every £ given to someone then some else has to pay for that.

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Pedant alert. Every £ given to someone from the Government coffers is paid for by 30,000,000 income tax payers (23p) with the rest coming from other Treasury income.


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There is a strong rumour that you cannot spend what you gave not got. That rumour has not yet reached many Politicians, even after years of failure.

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