Announcing the impending arrival of his budget, Boris stressed the importance of anti-crime measures:
“Crime is the number one issue for Londoners. I will build on the
early measures I have introduced such as the alcohol ban on the tube
and extra 440 safer transport police officers. Tackling the long-term
root causes of crime and violence and ensuring a visible police
presence on the streets must become the priority for the entire GLA
“Delivering greater value for money is vital and it is clear there
are a series of areas where the GLA and LDA can be improved and made
far more efficient. We have already showed through scrapping the
Londoner that savings can be made. That’s why I am proposing a 15 per
cent saving in the GLA budget to ensure we are providing maximum value
for London taxpayers.”
In order to achieve the latter aim, however, the GLA have warned that “the capital’s police service [may have to] face real terms cuts in its spending”. Indeed, Kit Malthouse has stated that “the guidance we have given…is intended to start that efficiency process“.
I’m curious, however, as to how Malthouse can align cuts with the rhetoric regarding anti-crime measures. If apparent inefficiency is to be targeted then it will be difficult to reduce bureaucracy and ensure that Police are “doing what they want to do“. If there are staff cuts then “no tolerance” policies of action will be increasingly arduous in implementation.
Mike Tuffrey, the Liberal Democrat Assembly Member, has said that:
“I am always in favour of looking at ways of making efficiency savings,
but the Mayor has failed to say how he can balance the books without
job cuts. 80% of the policing budget for London is made up of staff
“Boris Johnson should guarantee now that there will be no real cuts next year in the policing service Londoners receive.”"
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