By Maximilian Clarke

On the day London’s Mayor Boris Johnson announced the country’s first Office for Policing and Crime, the London Assembly is urging the Mayor to cut costs in line with police budget cuts across the country.

The London Assembly’s Budget and Performance Committee says the planned budget for running the new Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPC) is no lower than it was for the Metropolitan Police Authority, which it replaces. Its budget is also not set to reduce over the next three years.

However other organisations within the GLA group are being asked to make significant efficiency savings, including the MPS whose budget is set to reduce by eight per cent over the next three years.

In its response to the Mayor’s consultation draft budget for 2012/13, the Committee therefore calls on the Mayor to set out the savings he expects from the MOPC in his next version of the budget proposals.

Assembly Members also highlight unresolved funding for the police going forward, and call for more details of how the GLA will fund its areas of responsibility including: skills and employment; youth and volunteering; business support; sport; the Olympics; regeneration; climate change and the environment.

“In the current financial climate, organisations all across the capital including the Metropolitan Police Service are being asked to make huge savings,” commented Labour politician John Biggs, Chair of the Budget and Performance Committee.

“It is therefore only right that the Mayor’s new Office for Policing and Crime finds efficiencies too.

“The Mayor needs to set out the savings he expects from this new organisation so Londoners can be sure their money is being well spent.”

Biggs issued today’s plea to cut the new crime office’s funding having previously criticised the Mayor’s cuts to police budgets which have, Biggs noted, corresponded with a rise in serious crime in the capital.

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