The Government have again let police down in the latest round of the Police Grant which fails to offer the funding needed to do the job of trying to keep us all safe. Since 2010 we have seen:
- London lose £700 million in real terms since 2010 with a further £400 million now being axed
- Southwark lose 200 police officers and PCSOs since 2010
- knife crime rise 50% locally recently
- moped-related crime soar 50% across London in the last two years
- prosecutions flat-line, with London short of 700 detectives according to HMIC
Last week I held a meeting focused on anti-social behaviour in Bermondsey and I see people weekly across our community affected by these issues and deeply worried about rising crime. Southwark and Lambeth have the highest 999 call volumes in London and the police are simply too stretched to deal with all crime sadly.
Last year our community was attacked by terrorists and cuts to policing budgets also impact counter-terror operations. The army were required to step in when police numbers were too thin last year. I chair the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Counter-Extremism and in one recent meeting officers told us that the police are expected to do 30% more counter-terrorism related work, with no increase in resources.
When the Lib Dems had an MP locally, he voted for Tory cuts to the police. I opposed the pitiful settlement the Government have offered the Met. I also raised the Home Office expert panel's recommendation that the Met receive its full share of the National and International Capital Cities Grant which would deliver an extra £281 million.
Last year, I was proud to stand on a Labour manifesto which would have delivered an extra 10,000 police officers and 1,000 more security and intelligence staff. The Tories have given up pretending to be the party of law and order; it is Labour with the policies that would help the police and protect our community.