Police cuts in Islington ‘would devastate the police force’

The London Assembly member for Islington, Hackney and Waltham Forest, Jennette Arnold

The London Assembly member for Islington, Hackney and Waltham Forest, Jennette Arnold - Credit: Archant

The safety of Islington could be at risk if police numbers are reduced as part of government cuts, the Labour London Assembly member for Islington, Jennette Arnold, has warned.

Mrs Arnold’s comments come after the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, admitted in an interview last week that government cuts could result in the loss of as many as 8,000 police officers.

If shared equally across all the Met’s frontline teams, including specialist units, the cuts could result in borough police forces

losing around 25 per cent of their officers.

For Islington this would mean 143 police officers would be lost, according to Labour members.

However, if specialist units are protected and the 8,000 were all lost from London boroughs, Islington would lose 252 police officers – the equivalent of 44 per cent.

Reacting to the news, Mrs Arnold, who also represents Hackney and Waltham Forest, said: “The Commissioner’s warning of a return to 1970s levels of funding shows just how wrong the Home Secretary is to claim her cuts to the police force are not hitting the front line.

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“Since 2010 Islington has already lost 223 police officers and PCSOs with plans now afoot to scrap all the capital’s PCSOs entirely.

“Losing significantly more officers in Islington, up to 8,000 in total across the whole capital, would devastate the police force.”

She added: “With around £1bn of further cuts coming down the line there is a real danger we’ll see an undoing of all the progress made by London’s police force as the clock is turned back.”

Mrs Arnold warned that cuts had already sparked an increase in crime in London.

“There’s no doubt that cuts to neighbourhood policing are already having a massive impact, with violent crime in the capital already on the rise.

“With the Commissioner now warning about London’s ability to respond to major incidents and terrorist

attacks there can be no doubt about the danger the Home Secretary’s cuts are putting the capital in.”