We're calling on the government to reverse the cuts to the Metropolitan Police and give our police officers the funding they need to do their job.
Since 2010, Hackney has had one in four of its police officers cut, about 200 in total. Now, crime is increasing in the borough.
This reduction in officers is because of the government's short-sighted real terms cuts to the Metropolitan Police's budget. It's already cut £600m, and is expected to cut another £370m by 2020/21. This £1bn cut to London's police force is a false economy, where the effects of crime end up costing us all. Hackney has borne the brunt of these cuts.
We ran a campaign two years ago where we warned about the dangers of cutting the police. The early warning signs of a reverse to the long-term downward trend in crime were clear to see, and now it's happening. Our local police officers do a fantastic job, but an increasing population and significant cuts to police budgets mean that they have fewer resources to meet growing demands. The types of crime that are going up are concerning too, with gun and knife crime in London rising by 42% and 24% respectively in 2016/17.
Hackney is a still a great place to live, and crime rates still remain well below what they were 15 years ago, but we're concerned that with crime on the rise and significant cuts to police budgets, if the government doesn't take action now, then more and more people will become victims of crime.
Write to the Home Secretary
We've already told the Home Secretary about the issues in Hackney, but know many of Hackney's residents and businesses wish to express their concerns.
We're now urging these residents and businesses to make their voices heard and ask the government to foot the bill for the Met using the letter below as a guide. This way the Home Secretary can hear first-hand the negative impact the government's cuts are having on people. The more real-life stories and experiences she hears the better we can make our case for our police to be properly funded.
We've created a template email to send to the Home Secretary in which you can tell her about the impact cuts to policing have had on you, your family, your friends or your business. This will count as a response to the Home Office's consultation on police funding, which ends 5pm, 16 January.
Promoting our campaign on social media will also make sure Hackney's voice is heard. Please share with your friends and family and use #FootTheBill on Twitter.
What is the Council asking the government for?
There are three key things we're asking the government to do:
- commit now to no further cuts to the Metropolitan Police
- increase the government's Police Grant, which makes up two-thirds of police funding nationwide, so the police have the resources they need to keep our streets safe
- increase the funding that the Met receives for policing a capital city, which it must do on top of its duties to London residents - the government's own Home Office report has said that funding for this is over £100m short
- Hackney's lost 1 in 4 police officers since October 2010 - around 200 officers (770 officers down to 584 in October 2017)
- the population has increased by a third over the last 15 years, and from 246,300 in 2011 to 273,500 now (and it's expected to increase by a further 10% from 273,500 to 300,000 by 2024)
- thousands of people travel into Hackney each night to popular night time destinations such as Shoreditch and Dalston, and that number's growing
- crime is increasing in London and nationally in volume, complexity and harm
- crime is up by 12% in Hackney for the financial year 2016/17, with robbery and knife crime up by 24% and 22% respectively
- gun and knife crime in London rose by 42% and 24% respectively in 2016/17
- offences are up by 4.56% in London, and police recorded crime increased by 13% nationwide in the 12 months running up to June 2017
- the Metropolitan Police has had to make £600m of savings since 2010 and has been asked to make a further £370m by 2020/21
- between 2002/03 and 2014/15, crime fell by 34.7% in Hackney, equating to 13,000 fewer victims of crime, but now the government are putting this at risk and crime is on the up again
What is the Council doing to help address rising crime?
We recently launched our new enforcement service, which increased the number of our uniformed enforcement officers from 15 to 24, and means that we'll have more officers on the street to tackle antisocial behaviour. We also recently adopted a Late Night Levy to contribute to the cost of policing the Night Time Economy and are continuing to invest in our CCTV network and 24/7 monitoring suite.
We work closely with the police and other organisations, including the Council's youth outreach service, Young Hackney, our CCTV team, local support services, housing providers, the voluntary sector businesses and the wider community, to make sure there's always a joint approach to responding to crime and addressing its underlying causes.