Keith Prince AM: Londoners want more police, not less
After a horrendous year of record crime in 2019, lockdown saw the number of some offences fall for the first time in years. However, as lockdown eases, Sadiq Khan's plan to cut London's police by £110 million risks allowing violent crime to return to Redbridge's streets again.
The Mayor of London is proposing to cut the considerable sum from the Metropolitan Police over the next two years as City Hall faces a £493 million black hole due to the coronavirus crisis. Once again, Khan has got his priorities wrong and is putting City Hall waste above keeping Londoners safe.
Sadiq Khan's police cut plan risks undoing the Government's good work to bolster policing in London. An extra 1,369 police officers will be recruited in London this year in the first tranche of the Government's promise to put 20,000 more officers on the beat across the country. However, Khan's police cuts are the equivalent of cutting nearly 1,700 officers.
In the London Assembly, together with my colleagues, I proposed axing Transport for London's nominee passes to save money. These wasteful passes offer free travel to the flatmates and lodgers of TfL staff and last year it cost London a record £44 million in lost fare revenue. Disappointingly, Labour voted it down, choosing to protect a TfL perk instead of London's police officers.
The Mayor needs to get his priorities right. Londoners want the police to bolstered, not cut. No one wants to return to the soaring violent crime of the past four years.
Article by Keith Prince AM first published in the Ilford Recorder.