Mayor Philip Glanville has warned the government that further cuts to police funding will put the security of Hackney residents at risk.
The borough has been hardest hit by cuts to the Metropolitan Police Service’s (MPS) budget since 2010, with officer numbers down from 770 to 578, a drop of 24 per cent.
The capital’s police force has had to find £600 million in savings during that time, with another £400 million earmarked for the next few years.
The government is expected to decide on further cuts to police spending in March.
Figures from January show total crime in Hackney is up 6.4 per cent in the last 12 months – nearly double the London average of 3.5 per cent – after years of decline.
There has also been a worrying increase in violence and theft-related crime in the past year, with burglary up 8.9 per cent, robbery up 2.3 per cent and violence against person rising by 5.5 per cent.
In a letter to Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Glanville expressed concerns that further cuts will put long term crime reduction in Hackney at “serious risk”.
He wrote: “After many years of dedicated work, and much success, in reducing crime levels in Hackney, I fear a continued fall in policing resources and numbers in Hackney would put this trend at serious risk, damage community relations and the partnership work that underpins them.
“I am particularly concerned that our award-winning work on gangs and youth violence, through Hackney’s Integrated Gangs Unit, will be put at risk if MPS funding is cut further.”
Glanville is worried about the strain on the number of officers dedicated to tackling gangs, which he says has “reduced from 40 to around 20 currently, including a period in 2015 where this dropped to just six officers”.
He told Rudd: “I hope you join me in supporting the Mayor of London’s commitment to the strategic target of 32,000 officers across London and his decision to increase the policing precept in London by an average of 8p per week to contribute towards this – something his predecessor chose not to do last year, against the advice of his own government.”
The Town Hall’s enforcement boss Caroline Selman also called for “adequate funding and staffing” to help keep communities safe. She said: “Hackney has faced a disproportionate cut to its policing resources since 2010. This is now beginning to have an effect as we see overall crime statistics beginning to rise. Any further regressive and short-sighted cuts to London’s police service will put the safety of the capital and its residents at risk.
“Investment, not further reduction in funding is needed to ensure a low crime future for London and Hackney. We need to cut crime in London and this will not be done by cutting the MPS even further.”/ 8 March, 2017