At this week’s question and answer event at Bromley Central Library, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police warned local residents that they will see fewer police out on the streets in the future. The warning comes as the force expects to see another £800 million cut from their budget as part of the Government’s emergency budget next week.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe was taking part in a discussion with residents of Bromley and Bexley when he brought up the budget issues that his force will face over the next 18 months. The Metropolitan Police have already seen their budget reduced by 18 per cent. However, they have managed to survive so far without decreasing the number of frontline officers that are deployed; there are only three other forces across England and Wales that have also managed to do so.
Sir Bernard commented that they have achieved this by cutting 3,500 staff from other roles and reducing the number of managers and buildings they have. At the event, he also raised the possibility of merging the two boroughs together at some point in the future, if it was found to be the most cost-efficient method of policing.
Crime figures shared by Sir Bernard at the meeting showed that Bromley has already seen a 5.4 per cent rise in crime this year, with Bexley’s crime rate increasing by 2.3 per cent.
Did you attend the Commissioner’s Q&A event? How do you feel budget cuts will affect policing in the borough?