Improving visibility of policing in a targeted way should be a priority for all forces. That is why the previous Home Secretary and I wrote to all Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners in August 2023, asking them to set out their plans to increase visibility and confidence in local policing and share the results of this by March 2024.
The Metropolitan Police benefits from the highest per capita funding in England and Wales and, as of March 31 2023, had over 35,000 officers. This was higher than the pre- Police Uplift Programme peak in the Metropolitan Police Service of 33,820 officers in March 2010. As of the 31 March 2023, at the end of the Police Uplift Programme, the Metropolitan Police Service fell 1,089 officers short of its uplift allocation of 4,557 officers. The Mayor of London is responsible for setting policing priorities for the Metropolitan Police area and for holding the Commissioner to account for their running of the force, ensuring the public receives the high-quality policing they are entitled to expect.
Policing is operationally independent of government and decisions about the deployment and activities of officers, including in neighbourhood policing roles, are for operationally independent Chief Constables, or in the case of London, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan police. They are best placed to use their local knowledge and experience to best serve the public interest.