Boris Johnson 'Obsessed' With Increasing Police Numbers After Riots

Posted: Updated:
BORIS JOHNSON
PA

PRESS ASSOCIATION -- London Mayor Boris Johnson says that he is "obsessed" with getting more police officers on the street in the wake of the riots that rocked the capital last week.

Mr Johnson told the Murnaghan programme on Sky News: "The case I make to the Government, and I'm going to continue to make, is that numbers matter, and I think that the numbers we have got on the streets in London now they're up on when I came in (as mayor).

"But it's vital that we keep them high and that we keep public confidence. People need to see police on the streets out there."

Asked about his view on police cuts, he said: "I am not obsessed with money, I am obsessed with results and I am obsessed with bobbies out there on the beat.

"Until the events of last week, we have been having a great success in bringing crime down in this city. We intend to keep driving that forward.

"What Londoners want to see now is loads of police out there on the streets. That's what's been successful over the last few days. That's the policy people want us to keep up with."

He said there were 31,500 police officers in London when he became mayor in 2008 - a number that will have increased by 1,000 when his term comes to an end next year.

Mr Johnson said: "They're going up to 32,500, and that is a very considerable achievement in the face of massive pressures. Any fluctuations over that period can be attributed to the normal fluctuations that you see in a huge body of men and women over a period of time.

"The general movement has got to be static or upwards, and that is vital for policing London."

The first challenge is going to be moving officers from the back rooms and on to the streets, and increasing efficiency, Mr Johnson said. He conceded: "In the end, there is going to have to be an argument about money."

Around the Web

London riots: Boris Johnson agrees to return to London - Telegraph

Boris Johnson heckled in riot-hit Clapham Junction - video | UK ...

BBC News - London riots: Boris Johnson faces angry business owners

Boris Johnson to return to UK amid riots - Home News, UK - The ...

Boris: Send riot kids to Borstal

Mayor hails badminton fans for putting London in better light after riots

Boris Johnson says London riots "are not a simple issue."

London's Olympic pride was also looted in the riots

Boris Johnson, if you'd tweeted better you could still be on holiday

Boris Johnson and Tim Godwin defend police response to riots