Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has announced that he’s directing £55.5 million of new funding into tackling the complex underlying causes of violent crime in the capital. Khan has made tackling violent crime his foremost priority and duly set out a comprehensive package of new funding for 2020-2021 on hard-hitting programmes designed to help young Londoners turn their backs on crime, and preventative measures to provide positive opportunities for disadvantaged young people.
It brings the total additional amount the Mayor has invested in tackling violent crime in this year’s budget to £100.6 million, which includes £45.1 million going to the Metropolitan Police Service, some of which will be used to bring forward 600 extra police officers for 2020-2021, on top of the 1,300 police officers already being funded by City Hall.
Youth services have been on the front line of a near-decade of central Government cuts, with figures showing that there has been a 46% reduction in national funding for youth services in the capital since 2011. Khan is leading the way by being tough on the causes of crime and is determined to continue supporting young Londoners.
Areas for investment
As part of this new package of measures to tackle the complex causes of crime, the Mayor is investing:
*£25 million of new money to build on the Young Londoners Fund, providing new funding for projects and programmes that afford positive opportunities for disadvantaged young people and help steer them away from crime
*A big increase in funding for the Violence Reduction Unit initiatives, with new moves including peer mentoring programmes for young people in Pupil Referral Units to help tackle the consequences of school exclusions, as well as funding for community groups as part of a hyper-localised approach towards violence reduction
*Increased investment in programmes orchestrated to tackle county lines and disrupt the drugs market in the capital, as well as funding to target persistent offenders and domestic abuse perpetrators as part of a joined-up approach to reducing offending
While ministers have started to partially reverse cuts to the police, Government funding for the Metropolitan Police Service still doesn’t cover the number of police officers lost since 2010. As a result, the Mayor has taken the difficult decision to increase his share of council bills directed to the Met by £10 per annum from April.
Complex causes of crime
The Mayor is – for the third year running – diverting an uplift in business rates in programmes to tackle the complex causes of crime. He’s using every financial lever at his disposal to invest in youth and preventative services and will be working in partnerships with others to support youth centres, schools and sports activities.
Khan said: “My plan to tackle violent crime in London means being both tough on crime and tough on the underlying causes of crime. The causes of violent crime are complex and deep-rooted, but have been made far worse by huge Government cuts to the police, schools, youth services and local councils.”
He added: “I’ve already taken the difficult decision to increase council tax to help pay for 1,300 more police officers, and am now launching a new £55.5 million package to tackle the root causes of crime by reducing school exclusions, providing more mentors for young people and thus creating more positive opportunities for disadvantaged young Londoners. This means that more than £100 million will be invested in tacking violence this year.”