Since central government began real term cuts to the Metropolitan Police’s budget in 2010, Hackney has lost one in four of its police officers. The short-sighted cuts have required £600m worth of savings between 2010 and 2015 with a further £400m worth of savings required by 2020/21.
These cuts have consequences. In 2015, Hackney Council ran a public campaign warning that reductions in officer numbers was putting Hackney's long-term downward trend in crime at risk. But with budgets squeezed, police numbers have continued to fall and overall crime rates are continuing to increase.
This is a trend being played out across London (2,800 police officers and PCSOS lost, offences up 4.56% between FY 2015/16 and FY 2016/7) and nationally (20,592 police officers lost since 2010, police recorded crime up by 13% between 2015/16 and 2016/17). The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has warned that police officer numbers in London could drop below 27,500 by 2012 - the lowest total since 2002.
Cllr Caroline Selman (Cabinet Member for Community Safety) and the Mayor of Hackney have written to the Home Secretary to emphasise these concerns - joining the Mayor of London, the current and former Metropolitan Police Commissioners and many others in doing so.
Hackney Council are now running a campaign urging residents to write directly to the Home Secretary to raise their concerns and to ask government to #FootTheBill. This is particularly important in the run up to the publication of the Provisional Police Grant Report due later this month, where the amount of money each Police force is allocated is decided by the Home Secretary.
With under a month to go until the report is published, there’s lots you can do to help get our Police forces the money they need. You can visit the campaign website here, where you can send an email directly to the Home Secretary. You can also tweet about the campaign using the campaign #FootTheBill.
Hackney is a great place to live, and crime rates are well below what they were 15 years ago - but we believe Hackney deserves a properly resourced police service which has the tools it needs to keep us safe. If you believe that too, please do use the link above to ensure your voice is heard.
Check out the campaign here: https://www.hackney.gov.uk/foot-the-bill