London's popular local police teams are under threat after Mayor Boris Johnson forced through budget cuts which will mean 455 fewer police officers across the capital.
Labour's Safer Neighbourhood Teams have been delivered for every ward in London. At the core of each team is a sergeant, two constables and three police community support officers (PCSOs).
But pressed by Labour's London Assembly member Joanne McCartney AM, Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson today refused to guarantee the future of London's Safer Neighbourhood Teams.
Boris Johnson's refusal to guarantee the safer neighbourhood settlement came during the debate on his budget which also saw Conservative members vote through the Mayor's cuts to police - with each local borough commander forced to make year-on-year cuts of five per cent and a reduction of 455 police officers in London.
It emerged during the budget debate that Londoners have given the Mayor an additional £5.7million this year due to a council tax windfall - but he ruled out using this cash to protect police numbers in the capital.
Opposing the police cuts, Labour members of the London Assembly voted for a motion that urged Boris Johnson to take account of Londoners' number one concern about crime and community safety by ensuring that police services in London are adequately funded, preserving police numbers on the front line and developing and protecting community policing initiatives as well as developing a fair measure to monitor performance."
Jon Cruddas MP said:
"Boris Johnson was elected on a manifesto of leading and protecting the police but he is planning to cut almost 500 officers and is slashing their funding. These are real, painful cuts for boroughs to absorb and beg the question whether community policing in London is safe in the hands of the Tories. A reduction in the Met's publicity budget would be enough to reverse the cuts this year.
"If he wants to go on freezing the council tax and saving Londoners a few pence off their bills he should come clean and admit there will be consequences for services - one of those being cuts to police officers."
Earlier this month Boris Johnson resigned as chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority, performing a u-turn on his election manifesto pledge to chair the authority and personally lead the fight against crime.