Response to the Home Office's announcement on police funding

Cllr Caroline Selman, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Enforcement, responds to the Home Office’s announcement on police funding for 2018/19:

Cllr Caroline Selman, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Enforcement
Tuesday’s Government announcement on police funding does nothing to address the loss of 1 in 4 officers in Hackney since 2010.

Now, after 15 years of declining crime rates, the Government’s short-sighted and counter-productive cuts to the police are putting at risk the years of pioneering and progressive partnership between the police and the Council to bring crime down, and offences are starting to go up.

In spite of these stark figures, the Government on Tuesday failed to contribute a single penny more to the Met’s police grant, doing nothing to address the loss of police officers across London and the additional £370m in savings the Met must make by 2020/21.

Instead, the majority of the additional funding announced by the Government will come from Council Tax payers, who the Government expects to make up for its ill-considered cuts to the police.

Far from footing the bill, the Government is passing the buck to hard-working families to fund vital public services.

We’ve been running our Foot the Bill campaign to raise awareness of the Government’s short-sighted and counter-productive police cuts. Residents can add their voice and write to the Home Secretary, which will also count as a response to the Home Office’s consultation on police funding, at www.hackney.gov.uk/foot-the-bill. The consultation only lasts a month so we’re urging residents to make their voices heard by 5pm on 16 January 2018.

Here are some key statistics explaining more about policing and crime in Hackney and London:

- Hackney's lost 1 in 4 police officers since October 2010 - around 200 officers (770 officers down to 584 in October 2017)

- Between 2002/03 and 2014/15, crime fell by 34.7% in Hackney, equating to 13,000 fewer victims of crime, but now the government are putting this at risk and crime is on the up again

- Crime is up by 12% in Hackney for the financial year 2016/17, with robbery and knife crime up by 24% and 22% respectively

- Gun and knife crime in London rose by 42% and 24% respectively in 2016/17

- The majority of the £450m announced by the Government (£270m) has been passed on to local Police and Crime Commissioners to raise through an additional Council Tax precept

- The Met has had to make more than £600 million of savings since 2010, and must find an additional £370m by 2020/21

- This has already led to the loss of 30 per cent of police staff posts, and 65 per cent of police community support officers posts, plus most of the capital’s police station front counters and 120 police buildings.

- The latest projections show that if the funding crisis does not end now, and if all savings come from officer numbers, then police officer numbers in the capital could fall below 26,900 by 2021 – a dangerous 19-year low which presents a serious risk to the safety of Londoners

- For every £1 of Counter Terrorism spend in response to an incident, around £2 is spent on necessary additional non-Counter Terrorism activity, which has to come from wider policing budgets.

Cllr Caroline Selman, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Enforcement