London firms welcome Sadiq's plan to fund police with £60m from business rates

 
Helen Cahill
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Sadiq Khan has warned that cuts to police puts Londoners' safety at risk (Source: Getty)

London firms have welcome Sadiq Khan's decision to use business rates income to fund the Metropolitan Police.

This morning, the London mayor said he would plug government cuts to the police with £60m from property taxes. The funding, which will be provided from 2019 onwards, will provide for 1,000 extra police officers.

Read more: Two pubs have closed every day in the UK since business rates went up

Khan said he would not "stand by" while the safety of Londoners was being put at risk. He acknowledged that the decision would divert funding from other projects, but London ratepayers have backed the initiative.

Robert Hayton of ratings specialist Altus Group said the mayor's decision was a "bold, forward-thinking move" which would help keep Londoners safe.

"The announcement will essentially negate the effect of property taxes completely upon the Metropolitan Police," he said.

Met police stations paid £17.9m in business rates in 2016-17, according to research by Altus Group.

Warnings Given As April Business Rate Rise Threatens UK High Streets
Business rates have become a significant burden for London firms (Source: Getty)

Sue Terpilowski, London policy chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "A well-resourced police force in the capital is critical to the safety of Londoners.

"We have seen a spate of attacks on small businesses recently which is why we urge the mayor to ensure the extra funds being assigned through business rates are focussed on supporting local communities and neighbourhood policing units in tackling business crime on employees, and employers, as many crimes against business often go unreported."

Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the money could be used for a drive to tackle cyber crime, which has had a significant impact on both businesses and the economy.

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