A top councillor has claimed police numbers are “only going to get worse” as she told Tory opponents to lobby their government if they want to see more cops on the beat.

Opposition calls for Greenwich Council to buy Eltham police station and fund high street bobbies were dismissed last night.

Jackie Smith, the cabinet member for community safety, told Conservative councillors their pleas for a greater police presence in the borough should be directed at the Home Office as the council has already had its budgets squeezed along with the Met.

Officer numbers will fall to their lowest level since 2002 unless cash is found urgently, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said earlier this year.

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Conservative councillor Nigel Fletcher pressed the council’s cabinet member to provide more support to cover the costs of front-line policing in Eltham.

“I wondered whether it might be possible to provide funds from the Community Infrastructure Levy to fund extra police for Eltham High Street,” Cllr Fletcher said.

“The impact on community policing is that a large number of ward teams are spending their time on the high street and unable to police the rest of the ward.

“They would welcome it if we could find a way to provide a small resource for the high street.”

Cllr Smith said the council should not be diverting “little bits of money” to specific areas as it too has had its budgets cut.

She said: “The short answer is no. We are not using council funding to supplement community policing.

“Sixty-nine per cent of the money that goes to the Met comes from the Government. If you want more police, talk to them.

“The home secretary needs to be lobbied because I can tell you this is only going to get worse.

“In this year alone the Met has saved £112m by reducing staff to 30,000 – by 2022/23 they still have £240m of unidentified savings to make.

“This is not going to get fixed by diverting a little bit of money to a little bit of an area and we shouldn’t be doing that because we’ve had our budgets cut too.”

Cllr Charlie Davis was also shot down when he asked whether the council would consider buying Eltham police station to “safeguard its future”.

The police station was closed last year and is set to be sold off as Scotland Yard looks to balance its books – with the sale of underused cop shops set to bring in £170m.

Cllr Smith replied: “You’ve asked me this three times already – let’s make this the last time, at least this year.

“I can’t see any rationale as to why anybody would think that Eltham police station gets closed and sold off by the Met because they have been required to deal with their budget, and then you expect the council – which has also had its budget cut – to buy it, let the police stay there, and not ask the Home Office to do anything about the disgusting funding programme that I have outlined.

“We are not subsidising the Met Police from the cuts that have been made by the Home Office,” Cllr Smith finished.