Mayor pledges funds to fight violence
Tackling violent crime across the capital is in the sights of the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan as he published his multi-million-pound budget.
On February 25 The London Assembly ratified the Mayor’s plans to invest an additional £234 million in policing and tackling violent crime which includes an extra £119 million from London’s business rates to support and protect policing numbers in future years from proposed Government changes to the rates system.
Khan’s Budget also commit £20.4 million for further measures designed to tackle violence. This will support additional moves against serious violence, including tackling gangs and enhanced provision for youth workers at hospital Accident and Emergency units.
Keeping Londoners safe is the Mayor’s top priority and he’s investing record amounts in the Metropolitan Police Service in the face of “huge Government cuts” to policing. Ministers have already forced the Met to make £850 million of cuts, and the force still has to make cuts of £263 million by 2022-23.
The Mayor has confirmed that he intends to increase his share of council tax by an average of 50 pence per week from April (just below 9% overall). This is the maximum allowed by the Government and most of the proceeds will directly fund the Metropolitan Police Service.
The additional investment announced is on top of the £95 million that the Mayor has previously committed in his Budget, mostly from council tax.
“I’m determined to do everything in my power to support the Metropolitan Police Service and tackle the complex causes of crime,” said Khan.
“The Government has forced the Met to make £850 million of cuts, resulting in officer numbers dropping to a dangerous 15-year low of less than 30,000. Despite warm words from ministers, they have repeatedly refused to reverse the huge cuts imposed on the Met and have instead shifted the burden of police funding on to the council tax payer, which we know hits the poorest hardest.
“The Government has clearly abdicated its responsibility to keep Londoners safe, leaving me to take the difficult decision to raise council tax and divert business rates for a second year in succession in order to invest in the police and our long-term public health approach.”