The cost of keeping London safe

10 October 2017

London’s population continues to grow by just over 100,000 every year {1} and the crime rate shows no sign of slowing {2}. 

The Met’s budget for 2017-18 is £3.269 billion {3}. 70 per cent of that is provided by the Home Office - but no extra funding has been provided for the cost of the recent terrorist attacks.

The Met has made £600 million of savings over the past four years and is planning to make another £443 million {4} of savings by 2020-21. The Met does not know yet where £185 million of these savings will come from.

The London Assembly Budget and Performance Committee publishes its report into police funding today. ‘Who´s paying the Bill? ‘makes a number of recommendations to the Mayor and the Government:

  • The Mayor should petition the Home Office to change Police Special Grant criteria so that the Met can be reimbursed for extraordinary events such as the London Bridge terror attack or the Grenfell fire.
  • The Mayor should highlight the Home Office’s lack of transparency surrounding the Funding Formula
  • The Mayor should consider whether to raise council tax by the maximum he can without a referendum (1.99 per cent) to provide additional funding to the Met.
  • The Mayor should reconsider his target to have 32,000 police officers, the numbers should be set by evidence based on the level of service required across London.
  • The Met and MOPAC should consider whether they can use a “retained police officer” scheme to improve workforce flexibility.

Gareth Bacon AM, Chairman of the London Assembly Budget and Performance Committee said:

“This has been a tough year for keeping London safe. We have seen four terrorist attacks as well as the awful fire at Grenfell Tower. Amidst all this, the Met’s response and performance has been exemplary.

The Met has removed all digital savings to 2020-2021. We need an action plan to get back on track otherwise we won’t be able to afford more officers on our streets.

When it comes to police officers themselves, the Met and MOPAC need to be realistic. As things stand, the Met cannot afford 32,000 police officers and needs to recognise that.”


Notes to editors

  1. London Datastore, London Population Projection, 2016
  2. MOPAC Monthly Report, Agenda for 21 June 2017 Police and Crime Committee, Agenda Item 9
  1. GLA consolidated budget and component budgets 2017-18
  1. Read the report
  2. Watch the video
  1. The key responsibility of the Budget and Performance Committee is its annual scrutiny of the Mayor’s budget proposals for the next financial year. This involves detailed examination of the Mayor’s plans for spending his budget to help ensure taxpayers’ money is used appropriately and effectively.
  1. Gareth Bacon AM, Chairman of the Budget & Performance Committee is available for interview.  See contact details below.
  2. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.


For media enquiries, please contact Sonia Labboun on 020 7983 5769.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officerNon-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100

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