Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has moved to protect public services by increasing council tax to fund vital police recruits.
In his draft budget for the Greater London Authority Group, the Mayor will announce that he’s planning to increase council tax by £15 for an average ‘Band D’ property in 2023-24.
The cash raised – thought to be around £29 million – will be specifically invested to fund 500 additional Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) to work in areas of London which are disproportionately impacted by crime.
The new Commissioner has set out how the Met needs an additional £827 million a year to have the same real-terms per-head budget as in 2010-11.
But after years of cost-cutting, ministers are refusing to provide the complete investment that the city needs – around £160 million.
The Mayor has previously invested record amounts for police support, enabling another 1,300 officers to be present on the streets.
Mr Khan said: “The last thing I want to do is increase council tax at a time when many household budgets are stretched, but the Government’s refusal to provide the funding our city needs means I’ve been left with no viable alternative but to help plug the gap by raising council tax by £3.21 a month.
“Bearing down on violent crime and making our city safer for everyone remains my number one priority. The extra funding for the police will go directly towards putting an additional 500 Police Community Support Officers into neighbourhoods across London. This will help us to build on the progress we’re making to reduce violent crime in London.”