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Police Funding Cuts in London

Andrew Boff is running for Mayor of London 2020 and thinks the Mayor should stop going on about cuts to police funding

New Scotland Yard – Image: Matt Brown

Recently I’ve been seeing promoted tweets popping up on my timeline from Andrew Boff, London Assembly Member and member of the Conservative Party, who wants to be Mayor of London in 2020.

You can find multiple responses from him in threads that follow those tweets, rebuking the Mayor for complaining about government cuts to police funding.

What are the cuts and how are they impacting policing?

The last Labour government increased police spending and the number of officers on the streets across England and Wales.

Since taking office in 2010, The Conservative Party has rolled back those increases, with central government funding cut by millions and officer numbers down by tens of thousands.

Thousands of more officers in London are to go over the next 3 years and dozens of police stations in the capital have already closed. Some areas of London have lost 1 in 4 police officers.

Since taking office, the Conservative Party has reduced government government funding for the police budget by 25% and have asked the Metropolitan Police Service (the Met, who are responsible for policing in Greater London) to find savings by cutting services by £400,000,000.

Central government funding for the Met has been frozen, resulting in a real terms cut due to inflation.

Local councils, which are also being squeezed, have had to to step in to cover the gap in police funding by raising council tax and cutting public services.

London is the largest capital city in Europe. It is the home of the UK government, Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the UK’s largest national stadiums and many of the countries greatest institutions and sees over 15–20 million visitors a year.

As the most expensive city in Europe to rent in, it has the highest wage bill and other costs associated with new challenges, from training to technology.

In 2013 starting salaries for constables in England and Wales were cut by £4,000 to £19,000. Even with the additional pay supplement to allow them meet the ‘living wage’, officers salaries are £1,000 a month below average.

Insufficient funding of the National, International and Capital City grant from government to cover this has left a £170,000,000 shortfall in the budget.

According to the Met’s police chief Commissioner Cressida Dick the cuts introduced by the Conservative Party have meant less officers on the street and has contributed to the rise in violent crime in the capital, with a 44% increase in the murder rate and robbery and burglary up 30%.

Sources

What has happened to police numbers?
Is police funding falling?
Is the Met Police facing £400m in cuts?
Hackney Council posters attack London police cuts
Police pay to start £4,000 lower, at £19,000
Police officer numbers have fallen
Police officer numbers in England and Wales
Is London losing 3,000 police officers?
Met chief says budget cuts have contributed to rise in violent crime
Met figures reveal ‘deeply troubling’ rise in serious crime in London