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Doubts cast over Boris Johnson's "dodgy" police rise figures for Waltham Forest
A row has erupted over exactly how many police officers will be transferred to Waltham Forest following a promise by Boris Johnson to increase numbers.
The Mayor of London said officer levels would increase by 119 by 2015, but Labour members of the London Assembly described the figures as ‘dodgy’.
They claim Mr Johnson’s boast is based on the fact that there were 523 officers in the borough in October 2011, but Labour insist figures published on the mayor’s own website show there were actually 547.
This means, they say, the increase in police numbers would actually be 20 per cent less than promised.
London Assembly representative for Waltham Forest, Jennette Arnold, said: “It now appears Boris’s plans for the future of the Metropolitan Police are based on dodgy stats. Boris either knows these figures are wrong or is deliberately misleading the public.
“If the mayor cannot explain where his figures have come from then what confidence can Londoners have in his future plans?
“I am backing calls for the UK Statistics Authority to investigate so we can get to the bottom of this.”
The mayor’s office said the figures were ‘like for like’, and did not include officers in departments that have now been centralised.
She added: “The figures used in the mayor’s Police and Crime Plan, currently out for consultation, are correct.
“They are based on budgeted numbers for police officers in October 2011, looking ahead to 2015.
“The London Datastore is a separate set of figures, that show the actual number of officers working at any one time in the capital. These figures vary according to turnover month by month.”
The council led a long-running campaign for more offices after it emerged the borough had significantly lower police numbers than areas with similar crime profiles.The Labour leadership initially welcomed Mr Johnson’s pledge when it was announced last year.
Alec Leviton, 78, of Royston Avenue in Chingford, is a member of Royston Neighbourhood Watch, which was set up to tackle late night crime.
He insisted what matters was how many of the new officers would bolster street patrols.
He said: “Well, 95 isn’t 119 but it’s certainly better than none. We have to find out how many officers that equates to who are actually on the front line.”
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