MORE than a quarter of officers from Bexley, Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich on duty on the day of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral were drafted in to help.

The 333 policemen and women represent 26 per cent of the 1,282 officers on duty across the four boroughs on April 17 as part of Operation True Blue.

The 92 officers sent from Lewisham mean more than 30 per cent of the borough’s on duty police that day were called upon to help with the former Prime Minister’s funeral cortege as it passed through central London.

The figures, released under a freedom of information request, show nearly 27 per cent of Greenwich’s on duty force were drafted in with 116 of 417 on duty officers required including one Chief Inspector and one Detective Chief Inspector.

The figure for Bromley was nearly 23 per cent and more than a fifth of Bexley’s officers were needed, or 22 per cent of the 282 officers available, including one Chief Inspector and one Superintendent.

A Met spokeswoman defended the numbers called up as part of the £943,833 cost of the police operation for the former Dartford parliamentary candidate's funeral.

She said: “One of the duties of policing a capital city includes major ceremonial or state events.

“The number of officers that are required for each event is based on a number of factors including the intelligence picture and the range of tactics that the MPS plans to use.

“All London boroughs are expected to provide a percentage of their staff on aid to public order events. That percentage is calculated based on the total workforce strength of the borough.

“All staff abstracted from a borough are backfilled to ensure that the local service is maintained.”

Do you think Operation True Blue was a good use of police resources or too much of a strain on forces in the boroughs? Post your thoughts below.