London Mayor Sadiq Khan plans to boost police investment with an additional £30m, taking the total to over £1b in the next four years, to ensure over a thousand Met officers keep their jobs.
The mayor said he will divert funds from council tax and business rates receipts from local authorities to policing, ahead of his final budget for the Greater London authority group.
The budget will be published tomorrow and considered by the London Assembly on 25 February.
The £30m annual cash injection is designed to protect officers, who were put at risk by the impact of Covid-19 on business rates income, for the next four years.
Khan also has plans to invest a further £8m of new council tax funding in violence prevention programmes which forms part of a package that addresses crime and the causes of it.
Set to be delivered through London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), the newly proposed prevention investment will fund projects to reduce violence.
The Met have been recruiting an additional 1300 police officers with the mayor’s funding over the past three years, 300 of which will continue to be funded on a recurring basis.
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.”
Increasing GPS tagging of violent offenders after prison release and the funding of youth services for victims of violence, will be used in the city’s major trauma centres and A&Es.
“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,” Khan added.
The news comes ahead of the mayor’s announcement today which will outline an investment of £550,000 towards tackling drug issues from existing MOPAC funds.
Government cutbacks led to the Met falling to below 30,000 officers for the first time in over a decade in 2018, two years into Khan’s mayoral term.
The government funds £185m of the £346m that the Met spend on policing the capital, as Khan has bolstered investments to record City Hall highs in light of mounting Covid-19 costs estimated to be around £21m.
The mayor said: “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.”