Want more police on the street? Then get rid of this lot, Mr Mayor
SADIQ KHAN has squandered millions of pounds from his policing budget on an army of highly paid penpushers – taking vast sums away from the battle against soaring knife crime, according to critics of London’s Labour Mayor.
Mr Khan has repeatedly accused the Government of slashing Scotland Yard’s budget and forcing him to reduce police numbers to their lowest level in 15 years, even as the murder rate soars with five killings taking place in less than a week recently.
But The Mail on Sunday can reveal that he is spending £7.1 million a year on a staggering 109 executives, managers and researchers in City Hall whose role is to oversee the Met – several of whom are paid more than £100,000 a year.
MOPAC does not employ any serving police officers.
Recent decisions made by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) include spending £1 million on customer satisfaction surveys, asking the public questions such as: ‘How good a job do you think the police in this area are doing?’
If the money spent on MOPAC staff alone were diverted to frontline police, it could pay the £30,369 starting salaries of 233 PCs.
This would almost double the size of the 271- strong Violent Crime Task Force set up by the Mayor earlier this year. Shaun Bailey, Conservative candidate for London Mayor, has vowed to slash costs in Mr Khan’s ‘bloated bureaucracy’ if he is elected in 2020 – and spend the money on bobbies on the beat.
He said last night: ‘Londoners are worried for their safety and tired of watching politicians squabble over who’s to blame. London can make better choices with t he resources it already has in hand.’ The Labour Mayor will spend a total of £3.3 billion on policing in 2018-19, with most income coming from Government grants plus a share of council tax.
He can choose how much to spend on MOPAC and how much to devote to frontline policing. MOPAC spent £61 million in the most recent financial year, up from £36 million in 2015-16 when Boris Johnson was Mayor – but a spokesman insisted its core costs had remained the same. About £7.1 million a year is paid to frontline staff. Highest paid is chief executive Rebecca Lawrence, an ex-civil servant who takes home a salary of £151,500. Chief financial officer Siobhan Peters is paid £126,250, as is former New Labour adviser Sophie Linden, the Deputy Mayor for policing and crime.
Director of strategy Paul Wylie; director of audit, risk and assurance Julie Norgrove; director of criminal justice policy and commissioning Sam Cunningham; and director of strategic partnerships and insight Marie Snelling all have salaries in the region of £116,000 according to MOPAC’s website, although a spokesman said two of the senior managers work part-time so are paid less.
A spokesman for the Mayor of London said: ‘MOPAC has been more successful in bidding for investment from the Government and other agencies and so expenditure has gone up. The increase has been spent on violence reduction work, services to tackle violence against women and girls and to improve services for victims and witnesses.’
Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick joined Home Secretary Sajid Javid on a visit to Brixton, South London yesterday.
And in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, she stressed the importance of frontline policing, saying: ‘If I had more officers I would put them out on the street and I would put them against violent criminals, and I think it would have an impact.’