Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Sadiq Khan: Keeping Londoners safe is my first priority as mayor

LONDON: Fresh funding cuts to Britain’s largest police force could undermine efforts to protect the public from terrorist attacks, the government has been warned. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said it will become “near impossible” to maintain the number of officers on the capital’s streets if Scotland Yard is hit with further reductions. Dozens of police stations have closed and thousands of staff lost after the Met made £600 million in savings since 2010, with further reductions of £400 million set to follow over the coming years. Mr Khan said: “Keeping Londoners safe is my first priority as mayor. But, in the face of continued pressures on the police budget, exacerbated and deepened by central government, this is becoming increasingly difficult.” The official threat level for international terrorism in the UK stands at severe, meaning an attack is “highly likely”. A Home Office spokesman said: “The Metropolitan Police Service remains the best-funded force in the country and will receive £2.5 billion in 2017/18 provided it maximises its precept. “It is vital our police forces are fit to face the challenges of tomorrow. “As Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has made clear, there is considerable scope to improve efficiency and this Government is giving policing the tools to achieve this by increasing the size of the police transformation fund to £175 million.”

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