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Techie1

Doubling of police precept could bring £450m injection of funding for forces

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Techie1

Met officer numbers forecast to fall to 'lowest level since 2002' without extra funding, warns mayor Sadiq Khan.

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Policing is set for a “double your money” council tax windfall to fight the rising tide of violent crime as officer number forecasts for Britain’s biggest force predict the lowest level since 2002 – unless funding increases.

London mayor Sadiq Khan claims Metropolitan Police numbers could drop to 26,800 if further savings are demanded from the force.

Mr Khan is due to meet the Home Secretary Sajid Javid on Tuesday to discuss the police funding settlement for next year, amid reports a provisional agreement has been brokered with Chancellor Philip Hammond and Communities Secretary James Brokenshire to increase the precept charged by local authorities on behalf of forces.

The amount police and crime commissioners will be able to impose will rise from £1 a month to £2 a month from April 2019 – an extra £24 per household each year – which could raise around £450 million for forces in England and Wales, according to the report.

The government is expected to make an announcement next week.

As well as the increase in council tax, it is understood the Home Office and Treasury could also commit another £170 million to general police funding.

But the London force is required to make a further £335 million worth of savings by 2022, according to Mr Khan's office, basing its figures on "updated and detailed" calculations by the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime ahead of the Mayor's next budget.

The figure is £10 million more than previous forecasts, claiming it could lead to officer numbers falling to their lowest level since 2002.

The forecast projects that by 2022, further planned cuts will take Metropolitan Police officer numbers down to 26,800, for a population of more than nine million people. When officer numbers were last that low, London’s population was seven million.

Until 2010 officer numbers were broadly holding at around the 30,000 mark or just above.

In that year it had 33,367 officers for a population of 8,054,000, meaning it had 4.1 police officers per thousand people.

Now it has 29,654 officers for a population of nine million, or 3.3 officers per thousand people, and the number of officers is forecast to fall, despite London’s population growing since the start of this century – and forecast to hit 10 million by 2030.

Historically, London has had more officers per hundred thousand population than other big urban forces because the capital is seen as having more complex needs.

The budget forecast also takes account of a change in police pensions which will require Scotland Yard to meet an increase in its annual pension bill of £104 million from 2020, equivalent to more than 1,700 officers, the Mayor's office added.

It said the calculations were made on the basis that Mr Khan will increase the policing element of the council tax precept by 5.1 per cent, or £12 per household – half the reported future rise.

This would raise an additional £49 million which is equivalent to 800 police officers, the office added.

Mr Khan said: "The causes of violent crime are extremely complex, but there is no doubt it has been made far worse by huge government cuts to the police and youth services.

"Even the Home Secretary has finally admitted that the Met won't be able to tackle violent crime without more funding from the Government.

"Now we urgently need to see action to avoid officer numbers falling even further.

"Government cuts have led to London losing 3,000 police officers and more than 3,000 PCSOs and 5,000 police staff and I'm genuinely concerned about how we keep Londoners safe with officer numbers as low as 26,800.

"Ministers need to reverse the £1 billion savings forced on the Met and reverse their cuts on youth services and other preventative services so that we can keep our city safe."

Police chiefs nationally are threatening to sue the government unless it relieves the new financial burden placed on forces by the government’s decision on police pensions.

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Radman

Historically, London has had more officers per hundred thousand population than other big urban forces because the capital is seen as having more complex needs.

Yes, granted it does but when you consider my local police area has come close to 1 police officer for every 700 residents it isn't good at all, on a night you're talking 6 cops covering the city centre on response, considering at the local BTP office we have 5 cops and 1 PCSO on duty most evenings now (thankfully) just to cover local railway policing it's damning that this is the state of things.

Do these numbers include the various other forces operating in London aswell? Small and specialised I know but you have BTP, MOD and City Pol all providing policing services in London.

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Indiana Jones

£45M, divided by 43 forces.

Drop in the ocean when you consider forces have been running at a deficit for the best part of a decade.

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Mac7

A lot of local authorities have already raised council tax funding for police to maximum levels.

Are the government finally realising that they cut too far and need to increase funding? That extra money should come from central government, not council tax which could create postcode policing. However, any increase in council tax is not going to be anywhere near enough to plug the holes.

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Zulu 22

The article says that 450 million would be raised and yet the same article say that in London they have to make a further 335 million by 2022. 

Those figures mean that none of this stacks up, i9n any way.  Why should the Council Tax payer stump up again when they have already paid for this in their constant taxation. 

The Government have to acknowledge that they have crucified Police Funding and thus rendered the today's Policing as inadequate in every way. 450million is just a small pebble in a large pool, when you consider the Billions paid in over seas aid to Countries that do not need it and, many squander it on useless projects. I fraction of those billions would solve Policing problems but, it would take years to recruit and train those missing officers. 

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Techie1

Isn't it something like an extra £2 per household per month? Much cheaper than renting private security?

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Beaker
Isn't it something like an extra £2 per household per month? Much cheaper than renting private security?
Something like that. Up here they've done the maximum raise every year for the past 3 or 4. I don't mind paying it, but it isn't covering the loss in funding from central government.

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