§ 16. Mr. Jessel
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further action the Government intend to take to support the work of the Metropolitan police.
§ Mr. Hurd
Spending on the Metropolitan police this year will be over 50 per cent. higher in real terms than in 1978–79 and the cash limit of £929 million for 1987–88 which I announced in February is 9 per cent. more than last year. I announced in May 1986 manpower increases of 1,200 in the police establishment and 600 in the civil staff ceilling over four years. So far I have approved increases of 600 policemen and 400 civilian staff; and I am prepared to approve further increases of 600 policemen and 200 civilians over the next two years subject to being satisfied that earlier increases have been effectively used and that satisfactory progress has been made with civilianisation. The programme of civilian manpower increases should release at least 400 officers for operational duty. Actual police strength has not kept pace with the establishment increases. The force is at present about 600 below the level which I have authorised.
§ 47. Mr. Harry Greenway
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the current strength of the Metropolitan police compared with 1979; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
The strength of the Metropolitan police on 30 June was 27,105, an increase of some 4,800 officers over May 1979.