London’s borough police officers are being routinely ‘abstracted’ from their local beats to plug gaps in London-wide public order operations new figures have revealed. More than 2,000 officer shifts are being lost from borough police forces every month according to Metropolitan Police statistics provided to Labour’s London Assembly policing spokesperson Joanne McCartney.
The figures obtained by Ms McCartney showed that in 2014, officers were removed from their local beat for 111,684 shifts. In the first nine months of 2015, the latest period for which data is available, 78,640 neighbourhood policing shifts were lost to abstractions with some boroughs losing over 100 shifts a week on average.
In response to questions from Ms McCartney the Metropolitan police said that the officer shifts were provided by boroughs to “support London wide Public Order operations.” These kind of operations generally include large scale events in other parts of the capital.
Labour’s London Assembly Policing Spokesperson, Joanne McCartney AM said:
“When officers are being removed from boroughs 2,000 times a month it’s incredibly misleading of the Mayor to claim they are local bobbies.
“Londoners want neighbourhood police to be visible in their communities not pulled off the beat to plug gaps in other parts of London.
“The Mayor’s cuts have meant neighbourhood police teams have already lost 2,500 officers since 2010. To then further reduce local teams by over 2,000 officer shifts a month damages the capacity of local policing teams to police their neighbourhoods.”