London Assembly committee to question Met police over its ability to keep London safe while making savings

 
Lucy White
TOPSHOT-BRITAIN-ATTACKS
Sadiq Khan accused Theresa May in the aftermath of the London Bridge terror attack of underfunding the capital's police force (Source: Getty)

The London Assembly's Budget and Performance Committee is set to meet with Metropolitan Police representatives tomorrow, to question the force's capacity to keep London safe while making savings.

It is estimated that the Met police will need to find savings of £400m by 2021, as funding remains relatively flat while costs rise.

Although Mayor of London Sadiq Khan confirmed in February that the city's policing budget would be raised by £27.8m this year, he accused Prime Minister Theresa May in the aftermath of the London Bridge terror attack of underfunding the capital's police force.

“We are not receiving the sort of funding we need as a capital city,” he said last month.

Read more: London Assembly Budget committee raises concerns over mayor's council tax hike and TfL's finances

The committee will speak with the Police Foundation's Rick Muir, the Police Federation's Ken Marsh, Her Majesty's Inspector to the Metropolitan Police Service Matt Parr, and chair of the National Police Chief's Council Sarah Thornton.

At the London Assembly's last meeting on the issue, in June, Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Craig Mackey said that ring-fencing the counter terrorism funding was not enough to keep Londoners safe from attacks.

He said the Met Police must be viewed in its entirety to function adequately, and added: “It’s very challenging to see policing just as a group of discreet services. Counter terrorism is ring fenced and protected, but it requires the whole of the policing system to work.”

In its June meeting, the committee heard that the Met is now modelling for a police service of just over 30,000 officers, despite having a strategic target of 32,000.

It also heard that the Met is currently budgeting for a one per cent pay rise to officers, as each percentage more would cost the service £25m.

Read more: Mayor Sadiq Khan facing calls to make London football clubs foot £5m policing bill

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