The Met is to get an additional £49m from City Hall’s share of the council tax, of which £15m will be ring-fenced for measures to help tackle knife crime.
City Hall and Scotland Yard have been under pressure in recent weeks to show they’re addressing a spate of stabbings and knife related deaths and today’s extra cash is intended to ensure officers have the resources they need.
£20m of the sum announced today will be set aside for a two per cent increase in police pay and the remaining £13.9m will be available “to invest in officer numbers and to step up the fight against crime this year and next.”
Mayor Sadiq Khan recently confirmed that he would take advantage of a government decision to allow local mayors and police and crime commissioners to raise extra money for their forces locally.
The Mayor and his counterparts outside the capital had been lobbying for more central government funding, but were instead told to raise any extra cash themselves.
As a result, City Hall’s share of the council tax will rise by £14.20 a year with the money raised being allocated to the Met and Fire Brigade.
The money announced the Mayor today is in addition to the sums previously allocated to the force as part of his spending plans for the coming year.
Confirming the extra cash, Mr Khan said: “I am pleased to announce that an additional £15m will be allocated to help officers on the streets to get to grips with knife crime.
“Our police officers are doing everything to tackle the scourge of knife crime in the face of massive budget cuts, falling officer numbers and the growing threat from terrorism.
“Londoners will see tougher action on knife crime throughout 2018 as we look to use all of the tools available to make our streets safer.”
The extra spending has been welcomed by Conservatives at City Hall who last week urged the Mayor to make such a move.
However Shaun Bailey AM said the money “will be meaningless without more detail on where it will be spent and what the Mayor wants to achieve by spending it.
“So far, Sadiq Khan’s Knife Crime Strategy has been completely ineffective and the lack of progress has been disappointing. Putting more money into the wrong areas will be a missed opportunity.
“We need assurances from the Mayor about how this money will improve the safety of our streets for all Londoners.”
Liberal Democrat AM Caroline Pidgeon has called for the money to spent on providing “a dedicated youth worker, focusing on intervention and support for every knife victim” in each of London’s A&E departments.
In addition to the money announced today, the Mayor’s office is working with local councils to identify projects which could benefit from any surplus in council tax receipts, including projects which can support efforts to tackle knife crime.