Page last updated at 15:51 GMT, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

London mayor Boris Johnson cuts Met police funding

Boris Johnson
The mayor plans to cut 455 police officers over the next three years

Funding from the Greater London Authority (GLA) to the Metropolitan Police (Met) is being cut.

The amount of Londoners' council tax going to the Met for 2010-11 is being reduced by £16m, a fall of 2.48% compared to the previous year.

London mayor Boris Johnson also plans to reduce the number of police officers by 455 over the next three years.

Labour called the cuts "real and painful" - but Mr Johnson said he was putting more officers on the street.

The Mayor of London's office said the 455 job cuts were "not to frontline police officers", but would instead be to officers who work in administrative roles.

'Difficult financial times'

Labour's London Assembly budget spokesman John Biggs said: "Boris was elected on a manifesto of leading and protecting the police but he is planning to cut almost 500 officers and is slashing their funding.

BBC London political editor Tim Donovan reports on the proposed cuts

"These are real, painful cuts for boroughs to absorb and beg the question whether community policing in London is safe in the hands of the Tories."

Liberal Democrat policing spokesman Dee Doocey said: "The mayor's decision to cut £16m from the police budget, to cut 455 police officers, and to reduce all borough police budgets, is a slap in the face to Londoners."

But Mr Johnson said: "We are putting more police officers on the street and we are doing that in difficult financial times."

Mr Johnson also refused to guarantee the future size of Safer Neighbourhood Teams, which are dedicated to each neighbourhood in London.

"I have no intention of imposing a one-size-fits-all model across the whole of London.

"I think that would be a pointless piece of top-downery."

The mayor also said that three million households would receive a freeze in their council tax precept in 2010.

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