Page last updated at 16:02 GMT, Thursday, 23 July 2009 17:02 UK

Met police hit by swine flu cases

Police officers
The Met employs nearly 50,000 people including 31,000 officers

The Metropolitan Police has set up a monitoring group to assess the impact of swine flu after revealing 272 suspected cases within its ranks.

The group of senior officers will assess how rising numbers could affect the organisation, Met Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson said.

Speaking at City Hall, he said the numbers were a small proportion of the overall workforce.

Britain's biggest police force employs nearly 50,000 people.

"Robust structures"

This consists of 31,000 officers, 14,000 civilian staff, 414 traffic wardens and 4,000 community support officers.

Sir Paul insisted there were "robust structures" in place to ensure London continues to be policed effectively.

He said: "A lot of work we have been doing in business continuity in recent years is extremely useful, especially when there is something which may reach more significant proportions."

Earlier this month it was reported that a senior Met Police employee responsible for security at the Houses of Parliament was struck down by the illness.

It has also emerged that of the top ten areas in England for people reporting flu symptoms to their doctor in the past week, seven are London boroughs.

These are Tower Hamlets, Islington, Greenwich, Lewisham, Hackney, Barking & Dagenham and Redbridge.

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