Police get extra £15m to tackle knife crime
Police in London are to get an extra £15m next year to help combat knife crime in the capital, Mayor Sadiq Khan announced today.
The cash boost is part of a £49m additional funding pot being made available to the Metropolitan Police over the next year in the Mayor’s budget.
Knife attacks tragically claimed 80 lives in London in 2017, with four killings carried out within a 15-hour period on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Most of the £49m pot has been raised through an increase in the Mayor’s share of council tax by 27p a week, a decision announced in December to help mitigate the impact of Government cuts to policing.
“Keeping Londoners safe is my first priority and I reluctantly took the decision to increase council tax because of government cuts and their failure to back the Metropolitan Police with the funds that they need,” Sadiq said, as he issued his draft budget for the Greater London Authority Group.
“Our police officers are doing everything to tackle the scourge of knife crime in the face of massive budget cuts, falling officer numbers and the growing threat from terrorism,” he said.
“Londoners will see tougher action on knife crime throughout 2018 as we look to use all of the tools available to make our streets safer.”
Government funding for the Met has fallen by more than £700 million since 2010-11 - nearly 40 per cent in real terms.
This has led to the loss of a third of police staff posts, which have fallen from 14,330 to 9,985; two-thirds of police community support officer posts, as well as 114 police station front counters and 120 police buildings.
The Mayor also said he would examine whether extra income raised from a rise in council tax can be invested into youth services and other projects to support young people and help combat knife crime.