The capital is being “ludicrously short-changed” by the anti-London Tory government, after it received as much as four times less funding from the government’s Safer Streets scheme than smaller regions of the country with lesser amounts of crime, according to the Home Office’s official figures.
The Safer Streets Fund was launched this year by the government to tackle burglary and theft in crime hotspots across the country.
Government figures show that the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, or MOPAC, was awarded a funding package of £301,162 for just one of the three bids it submitted for the Safer Streets Fund.
The money will be targeted at the Hendon Park area of Barnet.
At the same time, all three of Northamptonshire Police’s bids to the Home Office were successful. Northants received a total of £1,375,700 in grants: four times more than London.
The chasm between the amount of funding allocated to the two authorities comes despite Northamptonshire’s police force serving a population 12 times smaller than that of the Metropolitan Police’s jurisdiction.
Between March 2019 and March 2020, compared to residents in Northamptonshire, Londoners suffered 20 times more theft incidents and 16 times more burglaries.
London also received less of a share of the fund than a number of other more rural authorities, such as Devon and Cornwall and urban areas, such as Merseyside.
Andrew Dismore, a Labour member of the London Assembly, is urging the Home Office to review and expand the tendering process for the Safer Streets Fund so that policing authorities can place more than three bids at a time.
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has called on government to provide emergency funding to protect public services, such as policing and the fire brigade, as the Greater London Authority faces a budget shortfall of around £500million as a direct impact of the covid-19 outbreak. This comes on top of almost £1billion of Tory government cuts to the Met Police’s budget over the last decade.
Dismore said: “It’s impossible to escape the fact that the capital has been ludicrously short-changed when compared to other, much smaller areas of the country with lower rates of crime. You could say that the Met Police being subjected to almost £1billion worth of government cuts over the last decade is a form of daylight robbery in itself.
“City Hall has continuously pressed Ministers to adequately invest in tackling crime in the capital, but this falls on deaf ears time and time again. The Home Office needs to reconsider how it allocates this funding and ‘level-up’ the resources it provides to policing in London”.
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