Police cuts risk Londoners’ safety

The number of police officers in London could drop below 27,500 by 2021 without extra funding, the lowest level since 2002, new analysis shows.

The fall would equate to one police officer per 326 Londoners - 26 per cent fewer than in 2010, when the capital had one officer per 242 residents, according to figures released by Mayor Sadiq Khan.

As London’s population increases to 8.6 million and counting, a crisis in police funding has already led to the loss of almost 3,000 police community support officers, most police station front counters and 120 police buildings.

Police force budgets have been reduced in real terms by the Treasury since 2010 - as inflation has accelerated to 2.9 per cent.

Across the UK, recorded crime has been rising since 2014. London has seen an increase in violent crime, while four deadly terror attacks this year have spurred counter terror demand.

The Mayor and the Metropolitan Police have made £600 million in savings while protecting frontline police officers, but are facing a further £400 million in cuts by 2021.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor, said: “The alarming scale of the police funding crisis means that Londoners’ safety is being put at risk at a time when the population is rising, crime is rising and we face an unprecedented terrorist threat. The government has the power to stop this.”

“If the Chancellor does not use next month’s Budget to end the long-term cuts to policing and put public safety first, then we will have no choice but to reduce our frontline.”

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