Is the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) giving out unclear figures during the current public consultation? That's what Labour Assembly Member Joanne McCartney said following an exchange with the Mayor on Friday.
A letter from Deputy Mayor Stephen Greenhalgh admitted that figures for police numbers taken from the London Datastore for September 2012 were wrong, and that figures for Oct 2009-Sep 2011 were presented as the figures for May 2009-April 2011. Yeah, so? Well, this seems to have prompted Labour to do some more digging, and they've looked at the police numbers per borough that are being given out during the consultations, and what's actually listed on the London Datastore.
The number that interests us is from October 2011 – consultation documents are comparing officer numbers in each borough to what the new Police and Crime plan will provide by 2015. Except the numbers in the consultation don't match the numbers from the database. The consultation consistently gives a lower number for October 2011, making the the higher number for 2015 seem more impressive (figures below). And Labour say that when you compare the database numbers to what's predicted for 2015 some boroughs will actually lose officers.
Mr Greenhalgh is not at all happy with this interpretation. He sent a sternly worded letter to Joanne McCartney, saying (his caps)
The OCTOBER 2011 figures are not incorrect – and remain a true reflection of the changes proposed and the officers in neighbourhoods and command strengths, on a LIKE FOR LIKE BASIS. The Oct 2011 baseline figures have been adjusted to reflect the services that will continue to be delivered at borough level (i.e. to exclude those services that are being centralised concurrently with the new policing model e.g. crime recording bureau and intelligence bureau).
After wrangling with that paragraph, we think what he means is that the consultation figures have been adjusted to reflect the number of police there would have been in each borough had the changes proposed been in effect during October 2011, not the number of officers there actually were. We haven't managed to get to one of the consultation meetings so we don't know if this distinction is made clear, but it's not on the documentation and we think that's a bit naughty.
Police numbers by borough: MOPAC adjusted figures Oct 2011 / London Datastore figures Oct 2011 / Forecast for 2015
Barking and Dagenham: 426 / 437 / 493
Barnet: 523 / 554 / 564
Bexley: 344 / 387 / 360
Brent: 658 / 664 / 660
Bromley: 428 / 493 / 482
Camden: 749 / 796 / 751
Croydon: 623 / 694 / 740
Ealing: 664 / 698 / 727
Enfield: 524 / 560 / 609
Greenwich: 551 / 631 / 615
Hackney: 682 / 733 / 685
Hammersmith and Fulham: 553 / 567 / 556
Haringey: 658 / 689 / 664
Harrow: 335 / 365 / 385
Havering: 346 / 381 / 394
Hillingdon: 480 / 516 / 525
Hounslow: 472 / 495 / 546
Islington: 643 / 680 / 647
Kensington and Chelsea: 521 / 538 / 523
Kingston upon Thames: 278 / 303 / 313
Lambeth: 870 / 949 / 874
Lewisham: 593 / 634 / 647
Merton: 344 / 372 / 356
Newham: 765 / 780 / 836
Redbridge: 444 / 298* / 530
Richmond upon Thames: 286 / 469* / 301
Southwark: 814 / 852 / 816
Sutton: 295 / 340 / 337
Tower Hamlets: 715 / 746 / 717
Waltham Forest: 523 / 547 / 642
Wandsworth: 564 / 589 / 579
Westminster: 1,412 / 1,471 / 1,413
* There seems to be a mix-up with the London Datastore information for Redbridge and Richmond for October 2011 – we think they're the wrong way round, so the 298 figure should be for Richmond and 469 should belong to Redbridge. The City Hall Labour group have switched the figures round but we don't know if they had more to go on than just a hunch.