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Opinion: Blame PM May for police cuts, not Sadiq

PUBLISHED: 08:00 11 February 2018

Archant

As some readers may have spotted, I have never shied from robust language in the political arena. But the latest assault by Romford MP Andrew Rosindell against Mayor of London Sadiq Khan goes too far.

Mr Rosindell has been sharing right wing material on Twitter featuring the Mayor’s photograph against a backdrop of worsening crime statistics and the ominous sight of a large knife in a hoodie’s hand.

Let’s be absolutely clear here, there are two significant factors contributing to rising violent crime: one is eight years of Tory austerity that has broken communities through poverty and debt; the other is the £600m of policing cuts imposed on London by the same Tory government.

This has led to the loss of a third of police staff posts – down from 14,330 to 9,985 - two-thirds of police community support officer posts – down from 4,607 to 1,591 - as well as 114 police station front counters and 120 police buildings.

Now I’ve had some differences with the Mayor over the planned closures of Dagenham police station, which we have saved, and the Rainham front counter. But I also know how difficult it is to fit the proverbial square peg into a round hole. That is the task he has been faced with.

Last month the Mayor announced an additional £49m pot of funding will be made available to the Met over the next year.

Included will be £15m to combat knife crime, and £20.1m for a 2pc pay rise. The remaining £13.9m will be invested in officer numbers. The extra cash, though not enough, is welcome.

What is not welcome are personal attacks from a Tory MP who has done nothing to halt the crippling austerity in our community. We will not be taking any lessons on police funding from the Tories after the way they have slashed and burned our frontline services.

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