HLondon’s operations receiving 3,000 more police officers to bolster the fight against crime are on the verge of being wiped out, one of Sadiq Khan’s key aides admitted.
Sophie Linden, deputy mayor for police and crime, said it would be “quite difficult” for the government to further increase the number of Met police officers, as it would mean other parts of the country would lose out .
His comments, as it was unanimously confirmed in his £ 127,513 work by the London Multi-Party Assembly, came as Mr Khan on Thursday announced additional funding for a project to help young Londoners escape the gangs amid fears of summer violence as lockdown ends.
Mr Khan’s election manifesto for 2021 promised to fight “for the government to finance London to need to recruit more police officers” but did not include a specific target.
The latest figures show the Met had 32,392 officers last month, plus 1,251 PCSOs and nearly 10,000 civilian employees.
In November 2019, the government pledged an additional 20,000 agents across the country, of which the Met received around 3,000 – half the number requested by Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick and Mr Khan.
Ms Linden said: “We’re just under about 3,000 additional officers. Next year we have to double that amount. I think this is going to be quite difficult for the government. “
The number of officers at the Met has remained above 32,000 for each of the past 12 months, aided by Mr. Khan’s decision to raise housing tax and hijack corporate rates to fund 1,300 officers.
Ms Linden said the Met was underfunded by the government by £ 159million. She said the mayor supported Dame Cressida’s wish to donate 6,000 of the 20,000 additional officers pledged to London.
“In the last two allocations, we have not achieved this target,” she said. “During the next award, we will continue to press [for the 6,000].
” I understand [the Government’s] hard situation. They said 20,000 officers nationwide. If they then give the Met 3,000, they will take it elsewhere, and all over the country has suffered because of police cutbacks. We will continue to make this point.
“I know, and Home Office ministers know, if you want to roll back violent crime in the country, you have to roll back violent crime in London.”
During the mayor’s campaign, when asked by The Standard how many police officers would be in place by 2024 if he won a second term, Mr Khan said: ‘I want to be honest with Londoners. It depends on the successful negotiation of the third year of the 20,000 agent agreement. The bad news is the government only gave us around 1300 [a year] during the first two years. “
Ms Linden said one of her priorities for her second term would be to advance efforts to reduce violence against women and girls. Asked whether she is too low-key, she vowed to step out of Town Hall “to make sure I engage with Londoners” and “to listen to the people who need our help the most. services”.
The assembly must write to Khan in support of his reappointment, but with “caveats” to help restore confidence in the Met and fight the “spiral” of crime.
Former Conservative mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey, now the party’s police spokesperson in the London Assembly, said: ‘London needs a lot more police on the track to keep our city safe. . The government has pledged to give London its fair share of the 20,000 additional police officers it plans to recruit.
“So far the Met has received £ 330 million from the Home Office to fund an additional 2,738 police officers, and more are on the way.
“As mayor, Sadiq Khan didn’t put his money where it was when it comes to police numbers. He has repeatedly funded virtue signage, spin acrobatics and public relations projects instead of investing in the police in London.
“Londoners have given him a second chance to tackle crime. In his second term, Khan must use his huge budget to supply the officers our city needs. ”
Mr Khan said on Thursday he would provide an additional £ 750,000 to fund the £ 1.16million to £ 1.91million London Gang Exit program.
From the year to March he worked with 275 young people but reached his capacity. The program offers one-on-one mentoring support and assistance with employment, training, housing, family and relationships.
More than half of shootings and almost a quarter of homicides in London are believed to be gang-related, according to City Hall.
Mr Khan said: “Tackling violence and helping young Londoners change their lives by providing them with positive life opportunities are key priorities for me during my second term as mayor.
‘As restrictions start to ease in London and across the country, it is really important that we support our police in cracking down on violence in local hot spots and work to provide positive things for young Londoners. to do in our city.
“Targeted support can make a huge difference in a young person’s life, whether in hospital, in police custody or in a youth club.”