Funding for police forces will increase by more than GBP1.1billion in 2020/21, of which GBP8.7million will come from Government grants, the Home Office today confirmed. The total amount of funding available for the year could reach GBP15.2billion – if police and crime commissioners ask council taxpayers again to stump up extra cash to pay for services. According to the announcement, the colossal sum includes GBP700million to recruit 6,000 officers – the first phase of the 20,000 pledged over the next three years, GBP150million made available to fight organised crime and crack down on online child abuse, GBP39million allocated to tackling serious violence – including GBP20million to target county lines drug dealing – and GBP906million for counter-terrorism policing.
But Mayor of London Sadiq Khan attacked the plan and said the entire 6,000 new police officers should be for London only.
Mr Khan also warned the announcement did “not even make up for the number of police officers lost since 2010, even though our population has grown”.
He said: “Both the Met Commissioner and I will push the Government to give us the 6,000 extra police officers our city needs, and a proper long-term funding commitment in order to recruit and support them.”
He said funding to tackle the root causes of crime were also needed.
He added: “Sadly, there is little sign that the Government will reverse their huge cuts to youth services, schools, councils and community facilities that caused crime to rise in the first place.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel said the announcement showed the Government was “delivering on the people’s priorities” and would mean “more officers tackling the crime blighting our streets, so people can feel safe in their communities”.
She said: “The police must now make full use of this significant investment to deliver for the public.”
Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said it was a “positive settlement for policing overall”.
Roger Hirst, who leads on finance for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), said the news was “extremely welcome”.
His deputy Paddy Tipping added: “This is a first step in building police numbers again.
“We need to recognise that it will take three years to get back to the level of officer numbers that existed in 2010.
“Many of the cost pressures we face, including cost of inflation and pay awards, will have to be met locally through the precept.
“Once again, it needs to be acknowledged that with different levels of precept and share of budget accounted for by council tax, the level to which forces benefit will vary from the precept increase.”
It comes as London’s out-of-control knife crime epidemic last year saw a staggering 135 people murdered.
The first victim of 2020 was killed on January 3 – just three days into the new year.