Police numbers across London highest in over a decade

There are more police in London now than there have been since 2010
By Local Democracy Reporter Joe Talora

(credit: Met Police)
(credit: Met Police)

The number of police officers in London has reached 33,000 for the first time in over a decade, new figures have revealed.

As of October 31, the Metropolitan Police Service employed a total of 33,116 officers, the highest number since July 2010, when there were 32,995 officers.

The latest figures come as Mayor of London Sadiq Khan invites members of the public to have their say on his plans to tackle crime over the next four years.

Recently, the leader of Waltham Forest Council accused the Met of snubbing the borough after its town centres did not receive extra officers following a wave of new recruits.

Though figures show that, overall, violent crime in London was trending downwards before the pandemic, the capital is now on course for its worst year on record for teenage homicides.

There have been 26 teenage killings in London already in 2021, just three fewer than the 29 killings that took place in 2008.

As recently as September, two Chingford 17-year-olds were shot at from a moving car, although both managed to duck for cover in time.

Sadiq Khan said: “Thanks to relentless effort by the Met Police and record funding from City Hall, violent crime is now falling – but there is still much more to do in order to prevent violence and stop the terrible loss of young lives in our city.

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“I will continue to support the police in bearing down on criminality, providing record funding to put more officers on the streets, and stopping violence from happening in the first place by funding programmes that divert vulnerable young people away from crime, and providing positive opportunities for young Londoners.”

They mayor’s Police and Crime Plan will also focus on ways in which trust can be rebuilt between the Metropolitan Police and communities within London.

The Met has been rocked by several scandals and controversies in the past year, including the case of Wayne Couzens – the police officer who kidnapped and murdered Sarah Everard – and the findings of the Daniel Morgan report which concluded that the Met was “institutionally corrupt”.

Last month, local police were accused of “heavy-handedness” after using dogs to break up a fight between schoolchildren near Walthamstow Central Tube station.

Mr Khan said that he will work with the Met and community groups to introduce an “overhaul of community scrutiny of police tactics”, while he will “continue support the independent review into the Met’s culture and standards, to help rebuild women and girls’ trust in the police”.

The public consultation on the mayor’s draft Police and Crime Plan is open until 21st January – have your say here.

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