Issuing his draft budget last week for the entire Greater London Authority Group, Sadiq confirmed that a new additional £49m pot of funding will be made available to the Metropolitan Police over the next year.
Included will be £15m to combat knife crime, £20.1m will be allocated to cover the cost of a two per cent police pay increase in 2018/19. The remaining £13.9m will be made available to the Commissioner to invest in officer numbers and to step up the fight against crime this year and next.
Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham welcomed the news: “This is a positive response to a negative situation, which the government has created on our streets by consistently cutting London police funding. There has been a visible change in the nature of crime locally, and this extra funding allocated by the Mayor will better equip officers to deal with it.”
Sadiq said he will also consider if any additional income raised from council tax and provided to the Mayor by the capital’s local authorities can be invested in youth services across the city and other initiatives that help combat knife crime.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “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.
“Of these additional funds, I am pleased to announce that an additional £15m will be allocated to help officers on the streets to get to grips with knife crime.
“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.”
Sadiq believes that council tax is a regressive form of taxation which hits those who can least afford to pay it the hardest, but was been left with no choice but to take the difficult decision to increase both his Policing Precept and non-Policing Precept by a total of 27p per week, the vast majority of which will be used to fund the Metropolitan Police.
Since 2010-11 the Met’s general grant funding from the Government has fallen by more than £700 million, or nearly 40 per cent in real terms, on a like for like basis, and in recent years the Met police have had to find more than £600m of savings.
This has led to the loss of a third of police staff posts – down from 14,330 to 9,985 - two-thirds of police community support officer posts – down from 4,607 to 1,591 - as well as 114 police station front counters and 120 police buildings.
The Mayor has requested proposals from the GLA and functional bodies about how any additional one-off funding could be used. This will include exploring options to provide further support for projects assisting young people, recognising both the impact of Government austerity measures on them and the role such interventions can play in tackling knife crime and addressing mental health problems.