Mayor accused of spinning police numbers

Local London Assembly member, Murad Qureshi has accused Mayor of London Boris Johnson of making misleading claims about police numbers. 

Outlining his budget proposals two weeks ago the Mayor said, "we�re able to deploy another 500-odd frontline officers and actually increase the number of warranted officers at a time of huge budget cuts across the country" (BBC Radio 4, World at One, 10 February).

But official police figures show that under Boris Johnson the number of officers will have fallen from a high of 33,258 in February 2010 to 32,510 in 2012 – a cut of 748.

And in January the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) predicted officer numbers falling to 31,800 after 2012 – over 1,000 fewer than the number forecast (32,918) before Boris Johnson was elected in 2008 and almost 1,500 fewer than the 2010 peak.

Local London Assembly member Murad said: "Only Boris Johnson could claim police numbers are going up when he’s actually cutting them. The spin is clear to see from the Met’s own figures.

"The fact is this mayor inherited a budget from his predecessor which paid for 1,000 extra officers. But under Boris Johnson and this government numbers will go down and the progress we have made in West Central tackling crime and reducing the fear of crime could well now be reversed."

Boris Johnson’s �13.6 billion budget was approved at a London Assembly meeting on Wednesday 23 February at City Hall.

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Notes

Murad Qureshi is a London wide Labour Assembly member and a former councillor in Westminster

Full agenda papers for the meeting.

The budget setting process is set out in Schedule 6 of the GLA Act 1999 (as amended). The meeting can also be viewed via webcast.

press release from the Mayor’s office on 10 February claimed London could be "the only force in the country to increase numbers of uniformed police officers". Figures from the MPA show numbers will have fallen by the 2012 election.

Police officer figures above have been taken from MPA committee papers, the MPA’s 2008 business plan and 2011 MPA budget papers.