London Labour MPs demand urgent rethink on Mayor’s drastic police cuts

Bethnal Green and Bow MP, Rushanara Ali, has led a group of London Labour MPs and Assembly Members to hand-deliver a letter to Mayor Boris Johnson at City Hall. The letter, signed by 38 London MPs, raises deep concern about the scale of proposed cuts to police numbers and the closure of police stations across London.

Following the launch of the Mayor’s Police and Crime Plan, which confirmed that 63 stations and front counters will be closing across London by 2016 and more than 1,500 police officers and PCSOs will have been lost between now and 2015, the MPs and Assembly Members gathered at City Hall to urge the Mayor to rethink his strategy.

Rushanara Ali said: “The rationale and criteria for each of these closures remain unclear. This will lead to a heavily reduced police presence across London and put the safety of our communities at risk.”

The letter highlights how nearly 5,000 Police Officers, Sergeants and PCSOs have already lost their jobs in the Metropolitan Police Service since the cuts began in 2010 and thirteen London Boroughs have seen crime increase over the same period. 

Rushanara Ali said: “Despite the valiant efforts of the police service, the cuts since 2010 have already had a negative impact on Tower Hamlets, where my constituency is based, with crime increasing by 9%. We are deeply concerned about the impact of further job losses and proposed closures on frontline police services across London. We are also worried cuts to support staff will place an extra burden on frontline police officers and PSCSOs.”

The Police and Crime Plan also outlined cuts to the resources available for Safer Neighbourhood Teams, with the new models being allocated one PCSO and one named police constable compared to the current level of three PCSOs, two PCs and one Sergeant. 

Rushanara Ali added: “This will lead to the proven effectiveness of dedicated SNTs being put at risk and community policing will be devastated as a result.”