HC Deb 22 March 1988 vol 130 cc66-7W
Mr. Wheeler

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he intends to authorise increases in Metropolitan police manpower for 1988–89; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Hurd

Under the four-year programme of police manpower increases announced in May 1986, I said that I would be prepared to authorise annual increases in Metropolitan police manpower of up to 300 in the police establishment and 150 in the civil staff ceiling, subject to my being satisfied that earlier increases had been properly used. In 1986–87, I authorised the first of these increases; and for 1987–88, I authorised the second, with the addition of 100 civil staff brought forward from 1988–89 to help with civilianisation.

I have reviewed manpower in the Metropolitan police. In 1987 officers serving at headquarters were reduced by 344 and the number of officers in areas with direct local responsibility for operations has increased by 752. I have decided to authorise the increase of 300 police officers as envisaged in the programme, and the 50 additional civil staff for 1988–89 not already authorised. These increases will bring the police establishment and civil staff ceiling for 1988–89 to 28,115 and 13,701 respectively.