Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick says it may be inevitable the force may shrink in the face of budget cuts and efficiency savings.
Officer numbers have already dipped below 32,000 and could fall further, she told the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee - writes itv.com.
She said she would like "lots of funding" and more police officers, explaining that the Met has been providing a service for over a year with "less than 32,000" officers.
Ms Dick said that around £700m of savings have already been made, adding:
Having done all the other efficiency work that pretty much that we can think of, it is inevitable unless we get more funding that we are going to reduce police officers further. We can become more productive. We can become more efficient. We need to get as clever as we can about focusing on the things that matter most but it is going to be a stretch, that's for sure.
– CRESSIDA DICK, MET POLICE COMMISSIONER
Read more news of London on our site.