mayor of london announces extra m for policing

Mayor of London announces extra £234m for policing

UK
Sadiq Khan speaks with members of the Metropolitan Police Armed Response Unit Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sadiq Khan said keeping Londoners safe was his “number-one priority”

Police in the capital will gain an extra £234m in funding to tackle violent crime in the capital, the Mayor of London has announced.

The new money includes £119m from an expected £2.5bn in increases in business rates over the next two years.

In December, Sadiq Khan announced he would raise council tax by the maximum 9% to help fund policing.

The GLA Conservatives said Mr Khan should “get his own house in order” instead of taking from businesses.

Last year there were 132 murders in London, the highest number since 2008.

Mr Khan said: “Keeping Londoners safe is my number-one priority.”

Conservative assembly member Gareth Bacon, who chairs the budget and performance committee, said the funding was “welcome and desperately needed”.

“As long as the Mayor continues to spend an eye-watering amount of waste and spin, Londoners simply won’t believe him when he claims that his priority is to keep us safe,” he added.

Since 2010, central government funding to police forces across England and Wales has been cut by almost a third, in real terms.

Mr Khan said he was “determined to do everything in my power to support the Met Police and tackle the complex causes of crime”.

“The government has forced the Met to make £850m of cuts, resulting in officer numbers dropping to a dangerous 15-year low of less than 30,000,” he added.

Last year, Mr Khan pledge to hire an extra 1,000 police officers, at an estimated cost of £59m.

The Home Office said: “We are ensuring police have the resources they need to carry out their vital work.

“Last week, Parliament approved the 2019-20 police funding settlement, which provides the most substantial police funding increase since 2010.”

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Last year saw 132 murders in London, the highest figure in a decade

The funding, which will not come into effect until 2019-20, includes £20.4m for schemes to tackle violent crime.

In addition the new Violence Reduction Unit will be given £6.8m.

The scheme echoes an approach successfully used in Scotland, which sees police work with teachers, social workers and health professionals.

The mayor’s proposed 2019-20 budget is due to be confirmed at a London Assembly meeting on 25 February.