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The Metropolitan Police are being short-changed to the tune of £160m this year through the Government’s National and International Capital Cities (NICC) grant, the Mayor has revealed. This came in response to a question raised by local London Assembly Member, Unmesh Desai AM, about policing cuts during the...

The Metropolitan Police are being short-changed to the tune of £160m this year through the Government’s National and International Capital Cities (NICC) grant, the Mayor has revealed.

This came in response to a question raised by local London Assembly Member, Unmesh Desai AM, about policing cuts during the pandemic, at an annual City Hall meeting on the Mayor’s draft Budget.

Mr Desai said that the Government’s continued underfunding of the Met is “putting Londoners at risk”.

The annual NICC grant is provided by the Home Office to cover additional burdens placed upon police forces across the country, including the costs of policing protests and protecting national landmarks and Government buildings.

An independent review conducted by the Home Office in 2016 found that the Met Police received over £100m less than it should through this grant. In the following years, this funding gap has increased further.

During the London Assembly draft Budget Plenary, the Mayor also confirmed figures showing that the Met’s response to the pandemic so far has cost £34 million.

This includes expenditure on PPE for officers, maintaining officer numbers during lockdown, the shutting down of unlicensed music events and the policing of social distancing measures and protests.

This all comes on top of the £850m of savings the Met has had to make in its budget since 2010, due to wider Government funding cuts.

At the Plenary, Mr Desai also asked the Mayor if his sustained lobbying for fair police funding for London had resulted in any action from the Government. Mr Khan said that the Government is “listening” but that “there really needs to be some progress here”.

A 2018 Home Office presentation on serious violence, recently released to journalist, Danny Shaw, through a Freedom of Information (FOI) response, after a three year legal battle, identified policing cuts as an underlying cause of the sustained national rise in violent crime since 2014/2015.

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Mr Desai said: “It is concerning that the Met Police is being roundly short-changed by the Government in the midst of a pandemic.

“Cuts have consequences and the Government’s underfunding of the NICC grant and the continued strain it has imposed on the Met’s Budget is putting Londoners at risk during a national emergency.

“The Home Office are all too aware of this, but went to great lengths to stop their own evidence about the link between police funding and serious violence from being published.

“Ministers must urgently come back to the table, reimburse the Met for their response to the pandemic and live up to their responsibility to ensure that our officers have the adequate resources to keep Londoners safe”.

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