Crime Reduction

19.12.18

London mayor to ‘probably’ raise council tax to fight police funding shortfall

London mayor Sadiq Khan has told the BBC that council tax will “probably” be raised to help pay for shortfalls in police funding.

Speaking to BBC Radio London this morning, the mayor called for greater funding for the force’s slashed budgets, and said he could implement the government’s announcement for local councils to increase the rate charged on council tax for policing in the area in the local government finance settlement last week.

This would be the second year in a row that Khan has chosen to enact the biggest tax hike available to him—however he said he was “not going to pretend that I don’t feel let down” by home secretary Sajid Javid’s government police settlement, which approved police and crime commissioners to request an extra £2 a month per Band D household.

The Met Police has faced £1bn in cuts since 2010, and as of April Scotland Yard suffered over a thousand fewer police officers in the force compared to January 2017.

Last year, Khan chose to increase the council tax precept by 5.1% - £14.20 for the average household.

Khan said: “I probably will be using the powers to raise council tax as much as I am allowed to do so to use that money for more policing."

"What I am doing is making sure I fill the hole left by the massive cuts in policing and I'll be announcing my budget this week in relation to what more money I can give to policing by raising council tax and other tools I've got in my toolkit."

Last week, members of the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee told Khan to take “drastic action” on violent crime, after it was revealed London’s murder rate for this year was the highest this decade.

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Image credit: PA Images

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