Mayor's Budget confirms additional £110m this year for Met Police
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will commit today to investing an additional £110million into the Metropolitan Police in the next year. The Mayor will confirm this investment as his Budget is considered for approval by the London Assembly.
This investment means City Hall is paying a greater percentage of the overall police budget in the capital than ever before – up from 18 per cent in 2010 to 23 per cent today, pushing the burden for policing the capital city away from general taxation and onto hard-pressed Londoners.
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. In recent years, the Met Police have had to find roughly £600m of savings and the Mayor has found a further £150million of savings since he took office.
This has led to the loss of a third of police staff posts, which are down from 14,330 to 9,985, as well as two-thirds of police community support officer (PSCO) posts, which are down from 4,607 to 1,591. In addition, there are now 114 fewer police station front counters and 120 fewer police buildings.
Sadiq has repeatedly warned that with further savings needed, the Met is running out of options and that police officer numbers in the capital could fall significantly below 30,000 before 2021 – a dangerous low which presents a serious risk to the safety of Londoners.
Sadiq has today confirmed that his Budget will include the following additional investment into the Metropolitan Police in 2018-19.
- £49million to be raised by a 5.1 per cent council tax increase. This will be spent on combatting knife crime, a two per cent police pay increase and boosting officer numbers.
- £55million raised from business rates income so the Metropolitan Police do not have to borrow the amount previously planned for investing in police buildings and new technology.
- This will lead to a £3.3million annual saving in interest payments that will be spent on improving support for those taken in by the police with mental health problems.
- £5million to be spent on recruiting additional police officers in the coming year.
- From 2019-20, Sadiq will invest an additional £59million annually raised predominantly from business rates income to support an extra 1,000 police officers than would otherwise be affordable by using income raised from business rates.
Government cuts over the last eight years have hit young people hard. As a result, councils have been left with no choice but to slash more than £22 million from youth services since 2011, closing 30 youth centres, with at least 12,700 places for young people lost.
With the Government failing to support young people adequately, Sadiq is creating a brand new £45million fund to help young Londoners – particularly those who are at risk of getting caught up in crime. The Young Londoners Fund will see £15million invested in each of the next three years. £10million a year will be used for a new fund into which local communities, charities and schools can bid for funding, and £5 million will be used to scale up existing City Hall projects in this area.
Other funding in Sadiq’s budget
In addition to these measures, which aim to boost the capital’s police force and make London safer, Sadiq has confirmed the following changes from his previous December draft Budget:
- A brand new £140million investment fund to support projects that will grow the capital’s economy such as business space, transport infrastructure and schemes to bring new housing on stream. The funding is a result of London’s newly won ability to keep a greater share of the growth in business rates income that it generates.
- £6million of funding to deliver permanent toilets for the capital’s bus drivers along 40 routes which currently only have limited access or opening hours.
- £6million injection of further funding for protecting the environment and improving green space in the capital. The fund will deliver the roll-out of more new public water fountains - on top of the initial 20 the Mayor announced recently and create better local green spaces.
- An additional £11.6million for councils to fund improvements to their streets and local neighbourhoods – taking the total amount of borough funding from TfL to an unprecedented £237m in 2018-2019.
- A further £1million boost to the keenly contested London Borough of Culture scheme.
- £1.3million towards a homelessness mental health pilot, which aims to improve care and services for vulnerable and at-risk Londoners.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “This budget is designed to deliver on my ambition to ensure that all Londoners get the opportunities that our city gave to me.
“These are challenging times – with Brexit posing a real threat to jobs and prosperity and the Government’s continued austerity programme damaging public services in our city.
“However, I am convinced that this budget will improve the lives of all Londoners and increase the opportunities available for Londoners to fulfil their potential.
“The Government have repeatedly refused to act on the funding crisis facing police services across Britain, so they have left me with no choice but to take the unusual step of increasing police funding from London business rates as well as council tax.
“However, tackling rising crime will also require us to be tough on the causes of crime. So in this Budget I have created a new £45million Young Londoners Fund to support education, sport and cultural activities for the next three years – including for the most disadvantaged and vulnerable young people.”
The Mayor’s 2018/2019 budget covers the entire Greater London Authority Group – including Transport for London, the London Legacy Development Corporation, the Metropolitan Police service and the London Fire Brigade. Its plans also include:
- A freeze on all TfL fares during the Mayor’s first administration, while protecting concessions and extending the new Hopper bus fare.
- Tackling London’s filthy air, amongst other measures, the Mayor has introduced in central London the Toxicity-Charge (T-Charge), will introduce the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in 2019 and is consulting on expanding the ULEZ up to the North and South circular roads in 2021.
- Measures to turn around London’s housing crisis from the dreadful situation Sadiq inherited from his predecessor. He is investing £3.15 billion to support 90,000 new genuinely affordable homes in the capital and ripping up old planning rules to get London building, while protecting the Green Belt.
Notes to editors
The Mayor’s proposed council tax precept comprises £641million to support the Metropolitan Police service, £148million for the London Fire Brigade and £77million for other services such as transport and the GLA itself.
The Mayor’s draft budget consists of allocations for - the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (Metropolitan Police), Transport for London, the London Fire Commissioner (London Fire Brigade), the London Legacy Development Company (Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park), the Old Oak Common and Park Royal Development Corporation, the core Greater London Authority (Mayor and London Assembly budgets).
The proposed total budget for the GLA Group for 2018-19 is £16.3 billion. This comprises a revenue budget of £12.2 billion and a draft capital spending plan of £4.1 billion.