Is London losing 3,000 police officers?

Published: 10th Nov 2017

In brief

Claim

London is losing 3,000 police officers from the streets.

Conclusion

This is the Metropolitan Police’s working assumption for how many officers will be lost between now and 2020.

“I talk to police officers in London desperately worried about the fact we're losing 3,000 officers from our streets.”

Stella Creasy MP, 9 November 2017

The Metropolitan Police expects it could lose around 3,000 police officers by 2020, according to Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

Commissioner Dick told a committee of MPs that the Met Police expects to have to make savings of £400 million between now and 2020. She said that this was the Met’s current “planning assumption” and relied on projections for things like inflation, the exchange rate and pay settlements remaining the same over the next few years.

This scenario would lead to police officer numbers in the Met falling to “between 27,500 and 28,000”, from the current level of “over 30,000”. Commissioner Dick then confirmed that she expected numbers to fall by around 3,000.

The latest available data puts the number of Met police officers available for duty at 30,000 at the end of March 2017. This is the full-time equivalent figure, meaning that two officers working half a week each would count as one full-time equivalent officer.

Although there are 32,000 full-time equivalent police officers in the Met altogether, some are “long-term absentees” and so not available for duty.

Across England and Wales the number of police officers overall has been declining since 2010.

This factcheck is part of a roundup of BBC Question Time. Read the roundup.


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