Adam Bienkov | Thursday 31 May, 2012 10:59
Boris Johnson today admitted that he will not keep his pledge to put an extra 1000 police officers on the streets by the end of his second term as Mayor.
Asked whether he would keep the promise in his 9 point plan for Greater London for “1000 more police officers on the beat” he replied:
“If you are saying am I pledging to have more than 33,000 [police officers] by 2016 then no that’s not what I’m saying.”
Questioned today by Labour London Assembly Member Tom Copley, he claimed that Labour had made a “wilful misconstruction” of the pledge which he claimed was only to keep police officer numbers “high.”
“No I’m sorry I think there has been some misunderstanding here, I don’t know perhaps a wilful misconstruction of what I said. I made it abundantly clear during the election campaign that we had produced a 1000 more full time warranted officers than there were when I was elected. Looking forward to 2016, Tom, as I said many times before, what I pledged to do was use the budgets that we have available to keep numbers high until the end of the [Comprehensive Spending Review] period in 2015 but thereafter clearly there’s a new fight and we’ll have to go in and make the case for high police numbers in London.”
Reading out the Mayor’s fourth point of his nine point plan, Copley said:
“‘Making our streets and homes safer with a 1000 more police officers on the beat.’ That sounds an awful lot like a pledge for a 1000 more police officers by the end of your term.”
Boris replied that this had been “forensically examined” and would only be misunderstood by people who had “been living on Mars” during the campaign.
Johnson’s “nine point plan” was heavily criticised during the campaign after it emerged that another promise to “put £445 back in your pocket” in council tax actually referred to a hypothetical saving produced during his first term as mayor, and was not a promise for his second term.
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