Ken Livingstone talks about police cuts in Bromley
PUBLISHED: 17:17 02 June 2011
Ken Livingtone had a run with the Conservative leader of Bromley council when he visited the borough on Tuesday.
The mayoral hopeful was spotted by Stephen Carr when he emerged from Bromley South station who asked him what he was doing in the borough he was criticised by local Conservatives for ignoring when he was in power for eight years.
After jokingly wishing him “good luck” in his bid to get Bromley voters to swing to Labour in the mayoral election next year, they had a good natured chat before Livingtone went to visit Orpington.
Mr Livingstone said: “He disagreed with all my criticisms of Boris Johnson. We have just had a meeting with the London Police Federation and they told us that across the capital they are expecting police officer cuts from 1,500 to 3,000.
“I wouldn’t object to it if London’s 32 boroughs wanted to combine chief executives and personnel. Birmingham and Hampshire police do and they look after a population of one million but in London we have a population of eight million and we have 32 separate forces.
“They are now exploring if this could happen between Westminster, Kensington and Hammersmith.”
The Bromley Times revealed last month that 30 officers are set to leave the borough over the next year whilst Mr Johnson confirmed 1,500 police officers are set to leave across the capital between 2011 and 2013.
Mr Livingstone said: “When I was in power, police officers rose to 32,000 from 25,500. This figure is what a review said police officers should be in London.
“Now the fall in crime is grinding to a stop and certain crimes like burglary is going up. And they are putting off the major cuts until after the Olympics. They lost 1,000 officers so far because they didn’t replace ones that left.
“Boris is in public office and he should tell the truth. He was lucky. I built up reserves of £1.5 billion and this has reduced dramatically so whoever gets in power next year faces horrific pressure.”