London has lost 8% of its police officers over the last decade, while violent crime levels have soared in the area.
The Police Federation says that “society just isn’t as safe as it once was”, and that the public are being let down by cuts to police forces.
The latest Home Office data shows that the Met Police had 30,136 officers in September, 735 fewer than they had a year earlier.
And the number of officers is significantly down on where it was in September 2010, when there were 32,900 – meaning a drop of 8% in eight years.
Over the same period, the number of crimes recorded by police has dropped .
In the 12 months to September 2010, 828,026 crimes were recorded by the Met Police – a figure which fell to 793,611 in the year to September, a decrease of 4%.
The number of violent crimes recorded rose markedly, increasing by 39% over the period. In total, 196,034 violent crimes were recorded in London last year.
Across England and Wales’s 43 police forces, the number of officers has dropped by 14% since September 2010. There were 122,000 last year.
Over the same period, crime increased by 11%, with 4.6 million incidents recorded in the most recent 12 months.
There were 1.3 million violent crimes recorded last year, nearly double the number in the 12 months to September 2010.
Police Federation of England and Wales chair John Apter said the public had been let down by the large cut in officers.
He said: “Society just isn’t as safe as it once was, and although the police service is doing everything within its power, we are swimming against the tide and it is the public who are being let down.
“The murder toll has increased from 649 deaths last year to 739, an annual increase for the fourth consecutive year.
“This represents thousands of families and friends grieving all over the UK. The NHS says that hospital admissions in England alone from knife-related offences soared to 4,986 over the past 12 months.
“This is a terrifying picture for our communities whose lives are being blighted by violent crime on a daily basis.
“This is not a coincidence; we need more boots on the ground to help combat this epidemic.”
A Home Office spokesperson said: “We are ensuring the police have the resources they need to carry out their vital work.
“Our 2019-20 police funding settlement provides the most substantial funding increase since 2010 – around £970m including council tax.
“January’s quarterly crime statistics show that your chance of being a victim of crime remains low.
“But we accept certain crimes, particularly some of the most serious violent crimes such as knife and gun offences, have increased and we are doing everything possible to reverse the trend.”