Cuts will cost London 4,000 police officers at time of 'unprecedented threat', Mayor Sadiq Khan warns

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Sadiq Khan has warned the capital faces losing up to 4,000 police officers at a time of “unprecedented threat” in the wake of the Barcelona terror attack.

The London Mayor has claimed £400m in Government cuts will force him into measures that could endanger the safety of residents, with the terror threat level in the UK still classed as “severe” by MI5.

In a letter leaked to the Sunday Times, Mr Khan urged Home Secretary Amber Rudd to take “urgent action” to protect Londoners.

It comes after Scotland Yard announced a review of security for next weekend’s Notting Hill carnival, with armed police reportedly set to patrol the event in plain clothes.

On Thursday, 14 people were killed when extremists mowed down pedestrians in Barcelona and Cambrils in two horrific terror attacks.

Mr Khan wrote: “Without urgent government action, it is inevitable that in the next year a process of significant and sustained reduction in officer head count will have to begin.”

He claimed that police officer numbers could eventually drop to levels not seen since 2003 – a fall of up to 4,000 officers.

The Met currently employs about 32,000.

“This will impact on the safety of Londoners. The front line is now at risk.”

Mr Khan added that London was in the midst of “extraordinary circumstances”, with soaring crime rates for murder, knife offences and domestic abuse.

He said: “Terrorism remains a constant and evolving threat to our capital and its people. Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley has described the current tempo of counterterror activity as ‘unprecedented’.”

The Home Office responded by stating London had “more money and more officers … than anywhere else in the country”.

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