Community Policing Teams in jeopardy

Mayor Ken Livingstone’s commitment to role out community policing teams across London by March 2007 is in 'serious jeopardy', Conservatives on the London Assembly have warned, after the government announced its funding package for policing in London.

Next year, London's police will receive a 3.2% increase in central government funding. Based on this figure, the Metropolitan police faces a £32 million black hole in its Safer Neighbourhood programme.

To fill it would require an increase in the Council Tax precept of £22 for the average London household - a level Mayor Ken Livingstone has already rejected.

Conservative Deputy-Chairman of the London Assembly Budget Committee Andrew Pelling said, "The Mayor's commitment to deliver community policing teams in ever Borough is now in serious jeopardy. Based on these figures, the truth is he simply cannot afford them. I hope he has not irresponsibly built up Londoners' expectations."

The policing figure was announced as part of the government's overall grant settlement for local authorities in England. This included an average 2.6% increase in 2006/7 for London's Borough's, with some receiving as much as a 3.6% increase, others as little as 2%. The amount an authority receives from central government is important because it impacts Council Tax levels.

Mr. Pelling added, "This represents a mixed bag for London's Boroughs - with some winners and some losers. But nothing removes the fact that Council Tax has soared under this government and will soar again this year."


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