Met Police 'stretched' by terrorism threat and cuts
Cressida Dick says force needs more money to 'do the job' following attacks in London
Terror-related incidents in London have left the police financially “stretched" and in need of more money to "do the job", the Metropolitan Police Commissioner said.
Cressida Dick said she is in talks with the Home Office and London Mayor Sadiq Khan about funding and halting further job cuts following the Westminster, London Bridge and Finsbury Park attacks
"We need the resources to do the job… We’re stretched," she said. "We undoubtedly need a very capable police service in the future for all the reasons people can see."
Numbers of police officers in England and Wales have dropped from 144,353 in 2009 to 122,859 in 2016, while specialist armed police officers have fallen from a high of 6,796 in 2010 to 5,639 in 2016, The Guardian reports.
Meanwhile, violent crime in the capital increased 63 per cent in the last four years, according to figures from the Mayor of London's website.
Earlier this month, the Mayor warned the Met could lose as many as 12,800 constables as it looks to reduce its spending by £400m following Tory budget constraints.
"Cuts on this scale would make it harder to foil future terrorist attacks on our city - and as the mayor of London I'm simply not willing to stand by and let that happen," Khan said.
Former commissioner Ian Blair told the BBC that further cuts would be a problem for the force. "Looking at what is happening, the idea of continually cutting the police services budget seem just an absurdity at this point," he said.
The Home Office acknowledged discussions were taking place, saying: "The Government is undertaking a period of detailed engagement with policing partners and independent experts on the police funding formula."