Met Police chief: We will no longer be able to do everything

PUBLISHED: 17:03 16 March 2015 | UPDATED: 17:03 16 March 2015


Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe says the force needs to transform

The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police says police leaders have no choice but to transform the force so it can cope on reduced budgets.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said he thought a smaller Met could still keep London safe, and that there was no point in getting despondent about the cuts, adding: “No-one follows a pessimist.”

But he said the police would have to stop doing things they had previously done.

The Met has to save £600 million by next year, and is expecting to have to save up to a further £800 million by 2020.

Sir Bernard said: “The Met is a can-do organisation, and I am a can-do leader.

“But we need to spell out, like the military has, that we can’t promise to tackle everything the world throws up within a shrinking budget. If we try to fight on all fronts, we’ll fail on some.

“Perhaps we - the leaders in policing - have been guilty too often of saying, ‘Yes we can’. We never say ‘No we can’t’. It’s anathema to police officers. But now, every time we’re given a new priority, we have to ask the public, what do you want us to do less of?

“Crime prevention has worked over the last 50 years, but I would argue that this is despite rather than because of a government or police strategy to embed it.”

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