HMIC Report is just one further reason why Met should not be wasting money on water cannon, chauffeur driven cars or subsidising gun owners – Caroline Pidgeon

July 22, 2014 6:31 PM

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group and policing spokesperson, commenting on today's report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) on how the Metropolitan Police Service is dealing with budget pressures said:

"The overall judgment given to the Met Police Service's record so far is encouraging, however we cannot hide away from the fact that severe pressures will face the Met, starting from 2016.

"If the Met is to have any chance of retaining the number of police officers that are needed and expected by Londoners further progress has to be made in savings on the 43% of the force's operating costs which is not spent on paying police officers.

"The Met needs to become more commercially aware in the procurement of goods and services.

"Above all this report highlights how the Met cannot afford to waste public money on water cannon or expensive perks for senior police officers, such as chauffeur driven cars. Another area where the Met and other police forces could save money would be through recovering the full costs of issuing gun licences. It is simply wrong that in a time when budget pressures are so tight for all police forces that gun owners are being subsidised."

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. Details of the Met's allocation of chauffeur driven cars for officers at ACPO level: http://questions.london.gov.uk/QuestionSearch/searchclient/questions/question_274885

2. Details of the Met's expenditure on issuing of firearm licences. It is estimated that the current firearm licence fees (£50 for a 5-year licence) only covers a quarter of the real cost facing a police service in issuing a licence.

http://questions.london.gov.uk/QuestionSearch/searchclient/questions/question_275618