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MET POLICE FORCE UNDER CUTS THREAT

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The London local authority associations have expressed their concern to home secretary Michael Howard over cuts in ...
The London local authority associations have expressed their concern to home secretary Michael Howard over cuts in the Metropolitan Police budget for the next financial year.

From April, the Met will begin cutting £20m. This could lead to fewer police on the beat, through restrictions on overtime and the loss of 200 civilian back-up jobs. Recruitment budgets will also be slashed.

The longer term picture is even more bleak. Cuts have been cushioned this year by a special grant from the government. But a new means of funding the police will hit London in coming years, with cuts likely to total £100m.

ALA policing spokesman Derek Sawyer said:

'Crime is Londoners' greatest concern, according to recent opinion polls. Yet, against this worrying backdrop, the government are cutting resources to the police.

'We want to see more - not fewer - police on the beat. This will only be achieved when the government listens to local authorities and the Met and provides fair funding for London.'

LBA chair Mary Walker said: 'There is a real danger that the Met will have to cut back on front line policing and that should be of concern to everyone. London already has one of the worst crime clear up rates in the country and any reduction in officers will make matters worse'

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