Search

View from the street: Mayor is to blame for police cuts

PUBLISHED: 08:00 06 May 2018 | UPDATED: 18:42 08 May 2018

Jessica Learmond-Criqui

Jessica Learmond-Criqui

copyright Fiona Campbell 2014

I write following my article on police cuts on April 19 to address comments from Jim Roland and Andrew Dismore in last week’s letters to the editor.

To Mr Roland, who complains that I should not be blaming Mayor Sadiq Khan for police cuts so close to local elections, I say merely that bad news does not have a time slot.

Labour assembly member Andrew Dismore suggests my facts were not right and my statement that Sadiq Khan is to blame for the fall in police numbers is wild. In fact, the mayor’s dictat to reduce police numbers was not made in April, 2018, as I suggested – it was made earlier in his March 2018 budget.

Mayor Khan is the head of the Metropolitan Police. He has ordered police numbers in Camden and Islington to fall by 91 posts (and by 1,583 officers across London), hence the loss now of our sergeant and an inspector.

The mayor obtains his revenue from a number of sources including a share of council tax (7 per cent of his revenue), a government grant (27pc), fares (45pc), other income (11pc), retained business rates (9pc) and reserves (1pc) (2016 figures).

He can spend those funds as he chooses including fully to fund any shortfall in the Met’s budget to ensure that it operates effectively.

He can raise further funds, including by asking Londoners to pay more in council tax for the Met.

In the Strengthening Local Policing Programme (Jan 2018), the Met gave the Mayor its professional judgement, namely, a “significant number of boroughs will be unable to sustain a full range of policing services on 24/7 basis” and “a significant proportion of savings to 2021 will come from local policing”.

Despite those warnings and the PEEL Assessment in 2017 that the Met’s effectiveness and efficiency at keeping people safe and reducing crime “requires improvement”, the Mayor embraced the four year cost cutting exercise under the guise of Met efficiencies.

In his 2018/19 budget, he states that his office (MOPAC) “is committed to further reform, through its own commissioning budget and further transformations in MPS to improve performance, raise effectiveness and drive further savings”.

Andrew, I have not overlooked the points you mention but the reality is that the mayor is failing the Met - and he has mechanisms to help him to fully fund it which he will not use. Your comparison of a referendum to fund the Met properly with other referenda is puerile.

You cannot hide behind government cuts to its grant which make up only 27pc of the mayor’s total budget – wringing your hands in frustration and rolling your eyes is not good enough. Londoners expect more from their Mayor and from you.

As crime increases and victims pile up, Londoners are faced with mayor initiated reductions in local policing and response teams.

The mayor should immediately investigate whether Londoners would like a referendum and how much of an increase they may tolerate so that he can factor this into his budget for 2019/20. He can thereby provide the Met with full and proper funding so that it can fulfil its public duty – namely, to protect and to serve.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

6 minutes ago

Wage cuts for nurses covering sick leave and other increases in demand at Hampstead’s Royal Free Hospital have been postponed after workers threatened to cancel shifts en masse.

42 minutes ago

Brexit uncertainty is one reason for a slowdown in Camden house prices, said a leading estate agent after new data showed that property values in the borough fell 0.8 per cent in August and 2.1pc in the last 12 months.

14:05

Tickets for a public meeting into the future of the Phoenix Cinema have sold out within days of it being announced.

13:57

Mitzvah Day volunteers from Hampstead were among those taking part in Sewa Day – a Hindu day of community action – in Kingsbury, Brent this weekend.

10:29

As part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week, Haringey Police have been engaging with the community to raise awareness of the importance of reporting abuse and discrimination.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Community groups are celebrating after the owners of the “landmark” Alliance pub in West Hampstead had planning permission for extensive remodelling and redevelopment refused.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Twenty-five people, including eleven in Camden, have been charged with drugs offences after two-days of dawn raids in Camden, Islington, Brent and Lambeth.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Sardonic, sarcastic and funny are three of the words that have been used to describe the late-SOAS lecturer and King’s Cross local Prof Lawrence Saez, who died at the beginning of September.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now