Sutton has added its name to the list of those opposing proposed government cutbacks in funding to the Metropolitan Police, writes Elaine Fogg.

The Liberal Democrat-controlled borough has writen to the Home Secretary, Michael Howard, protesting at the pounds 100m cuts. They would mean up to 1,450 fewer officers, according to proposals circulated to local authorities.

Mike Cooper, who chairs a borough policy committee, said: 'We believe that this will lead to fewer officers on the beat and a subsequent increase in levels and fear of crime and a fall in clear up rates.'

Sutton has already spent several thousand pounds equipping its once crime ridden town centre with high technology surveillance cameras in an attempt to halt juvenile crime.

The Association of Chief Police Officers has suggested that the cuts would have untenable results for community life.

The Met's budget is overseen by Mr Howard himself.