Safety fears over fall in Newham police car numbers

Borough fleet drops 25 per cent in two years

Safety concerns have been raised after it was revealed Newham police have 25 per cent fewer response cars than two years ago.

Figures released by the Metropolitan Police show 64 vehicles are currently in use in the borough.

This is a drop on the 83-strong fleet available for officers in 2010.

The fall is reflected across the capital. The number of available cars fell from 1,758 to 1,561 over the same period.

The figures were released under the Freedom of Information Act after a request by Harrow West Labour MP Gareth Thomas.

John Tully, chairman of the Met Police Federation, the body which represents officers, said the fall was concerning.

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He said: “The risk is as the budget is tightened then the service provided by officers to the public will undoubtedly reduce.

“Our concern is the safety of Londoners, but we do appreciate the need for budgetary restrictions.” “But clearly if there is an emergency then vehicles will be needed.”

The decommissioned cars are likely to be reconditioned and auctioned off.

A Met Police spokesman pointed out that the service has to find �600 million worth of savings by the 2014/2015 financial year.

He said: “We are very open and proactive in seeking to make efficiencies from areas such as the vehicle fleet, estates and contracts so that we can prioritise the continued delivery of operational policing whilst keeping Londoners safe.

“The fleet contains over 5,500 vehicles with a wide range of functions, capabilities and specialisms.

“We continually review our resources to improve our vehicles to ensure they provide best value to the public.”