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Taxpayers paying more than ever to fund policing in London

Home Office figures show £910 million in funding for the Met Police will come from council tax bills in 2023-24 reports Andrew Dowdeswell, Data Reporter

A back view of the torso of a police officer wearing a high vis jacket
Across England and Wales, total funding has risen in real terms from £15 billion last year to a record £15.4 billion in 2023-24 – (Credit – Radar)

Council tax payers will have to shell out more than ever to fund policing in London, new figures show.

The Police Federation of England and Wales said police cannot reach “proactive and consensual” standards without the Government ensuring sufficient resources are provided.

Home Office figures show £910 million in funding for the Met Police will come from council tax bills in 2023-24 – a real-terms rise of £38.71 million (4%) from the £871 million paid in 2022-23, and the highest figure since local, comparable records began in 2015-16.

In total, London will receive £3.3 billion next year – roughly in line with the year before. The government will supply the additional £2.4 billion.

Across England and Wales, total funding has risen in real terms from £15 billion last year to a record £15.4 billion in 2023-24. Of this, £10.1 billion will come from central government, while £5.3 billion will be provided through council tax.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council said the recent increase in investment has enabled them to recruit an extra 20,000 police officers and tackle “the most pressing concerns for our communities, such as burglary and serious violence”.

However, a spokesperson warned “policing faces significant inflationary pressure due to the impact of increased costs of supplies and services”.

They added: “Continued investment will be needed to ensure that the core services that the public expect are maintained.”

Steve Hartshorn, national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “The proactive, consensual policing that the public rightly deserves cannot be achieved without the government and chief officers ensuring the police service has access to the right resources.

“Our forces are struggling due to the scarcity of sustained long-term funding. They simply cannot plan ahead in these circumstances.”

He added the increase in council tax precept is concerning as it means taxpayers will pay more for the same police service. He also warned it could lead to a postcode lottery, with wealthier areas better able to allocate more resources and put more officers on the streets.

The Home Office said it is “dedicated to giving the police the resources they need to tackle crime”.

A spokesperson added: “Total funding for policing is up to £17.6 billion in 2023-24, an increase of up to £556 million when compared to the previous year and there are now more police officers in England and Wales than ever before.

“Police officers of all ranks in England and Wales will also receive a 7% pay rise from September, reflecting the tireless work of our dedicated officers every single day.”


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