London

Sadiq Khan claims Londoners are at risk from police cuts

Sadiq Khan with police officers Image copyright PA
Image caption Sadiq Khan had announced he planned to maintain officer numbers at 32,000

The safety of Londoners could be put at risk if the government cuts funding for the Metropolitan Police Service, Sadiq Khan has warned.

The mayor said potential changes to the way the national policing budget was divided could force a cut in the number of officers on the streets.

The government is expected to announce how the overall police budget will be allocated between forces in March.

The Home Office said the Met remained "the best funded force in the country".

In December, Sadiq Khan announced he planned to maintain officer numbers at 32,000 as part of his Police and Crime Plan.

However, the mayor said "continued pressures on the police budget" would make keeping the figure "increasingly difficult".

"If the government subjects London's police service to any further cuts, it will become near impossible to maintain the number of police on our streets," he said.

Image caption The Home Office is currently working out what to award police forces around the country

The force has already made £600m of savings since 2010 by reducing overtime, cutting managers and selling off 120 buildings.

It will have to make a further £400m savings in the next few years.

However, a spokesperson for the Home Office said the Met was well funded and there was "considerable scope to improve efficiency".

"It is vital our police forces are fit to face the challenges of tomorrow, and this government is giving policing the tools to achieve this," the spokesperson said.

The Home Office is currently working out what to award police forces throughout the country.

A public consultation will take place before any funding deal is put in place.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites