The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, visited Bethnal Green this week to announce his intention to invest a further £30 million – bringing his investment in policing to £1.08 billion – to ensure that more than a thousand Met police officers funded by City Hall will continue to patrol the streets of the capital for the next four years.
The Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, has also announced his plans as part of the Tower Hamlets Council budget to invest in Community Safety in the borough by providing £1m which will fund additional police officers to keep our streets safe. The cash will fund 2 sergeants, 10 constables, and vehicles. The police officers will form part of a multi-agency team with a key focus on drug related ASB to create a new ASB and Drug Suppression Unit. The multi-agency model will consist of the Council’s Neighbourhood Manager, Neighbourhood Officers and will work closely with the Specialist Substance Misuse Intervention Team.
With Sadiq Khan’s funding over the last three years alone, the Met have been able to recruit an additional 1,300 police officers to tackle crime – 300 of which will continue to be funded by Sadiq’s decisions on a recurring basis. The Mayor of London has now proposed to invest a further new £30m annual cash injection to protect 1,000 of those officers who were put at risk by the impact of Covid-19 on business rates income – ensuring they will continue to be funded from City Hall to police our city for the next four years. On top of this, Sadiq proposes to invest a further £8m of new council tax funding in additional violence prevention programmes.
To be delivered through London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), the new prevention investment will fund a range of projects to reduce violence, such as expanding GPS tagging of violent offenders after prison release and extending the funding for youth work services for young victims of violence seen in London’s Major Trauma Centres and A&Es.
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “We know how important community safety is to residents and it’s vital that we play our part as a council working alongside the police and other partners to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.
“Despite the huge budget challenges we face as a council, we’re investing our limited resources in community safety to help keep our streets safe and to tackle ASB. We welcome Sadiq’s investment in policing, and I believe it shows the difference that Labour can make for our local communities.”
Cllr Sirajul Islam, Deputy Mayor for Community Safety, Faith and Equalities, said: “Tackling crime and anti-social behaviour is a police responsibility, but local councils have an important role to play in supporting them to do their job, and it’s important we invest in local policing.
“We work closely with the police on community safety, and our partnership work through Operation Continuum has achieved great results in tackling drug dealing.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Violent crime had been increasing across the country and in London since 2014, while serious youth violence had been going up since 2013.
“We’ve worked hard to tackle violence in our city, and it started to fall well before the pandemic hit and has continued to do so. But I am not content or complacent, we still have a long way to go.
“If we are to see the long-term reductions in violence that we all want to see in our city, we must continue to tackle the underlying causes of crime, such as poverty, deprivation and lack of opportunities for young Londoners.
“I’m doing everything I can from City Hall to reduce violence, but it’s clear we still have huge financial challenges ahead because the Government has implemented a new era of austerity on public services in London. Ministers must now match my commitment to tackling this issue and fully refund City Hall and the Met for all the lost income and money spent tackling the pandemic.”