Less Police on London's Streets?

Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair has warned that London will see less police on its streets unless he receives an increase in funding from taxpayers of 11.2% next year.  The admission sets him on a collision course with Mayor Ken Livingstone who only yesterday said such a rise would be unacceptable. Without the increase the Mayor and Sir Ian will be unable to deliver their pledge to roll-out Safer Neighbourhood community policing teams across London by March 2007.

Conservatives on the London Assembly have accused the Mayor of irresponsibly raising public expectations by making promises he cannot afford to keep.

Sir Ian issued his warning at a meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority’s Finance Committee held this afternoon.  But yesterday, under fire at City Hall about the 11.2% hike required in next year’s Council Tax precept to pay for Safer Neighbourhood teams Mr. Livingstone said, “I don’t think the combination of paying for all of this on top of the Olympics will be acceptable.”

From next year, Council Tax bills will include a £20 levy to pay for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Conservative Policing and Resilience spokesman Richard Barnes said, “The Mayor and Met Commissioner appear to be on a collision course here. They both committed to the roll-out of Safer Neighbourhoods by March 2007 but now it seems the Mayor cannot afford to deliver them. He is guilty of making promises he may not be able to keep. That is a failure of leadership.”


Story from: www.glaconservatives.com