Extra cops promised by Khan – but only under a Labour government

London mayor wants to put in place “around 1,300” additional neighbourhood police officers, PCSOs and special constables, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

London mayor Sadiq Khan and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper meet with police officers (credit Noah Vickers/LDRS)

Sadiq Khan has pledged to boost the number of neighbourhood police and community support officers on London’s streets – but only if a Labour government is elected.

The mayor, who is running for an historic third term at City Hall, said that if he is re-elected, he will put in place “around 1,300” additional neighbourhood police officers, PCSOs and special constables.

But he warned: “I can only guarantee a restoration of neighbourhood policing if both I win and the Labour Party wins at the next general election.”

The mayor has been criticised over the fact that the Met Police were last year the only force in England and Wales to miss their recruitment targets, falling short by more than 1,000 officers. The Met was tasked with hiring 4,557 new officers but recruited only 3,468.

Khan’s Tory opponent, Susan Hall, has said he is responsible for this failure, but that he “loves to blame anyone but himself for the things that are going wrong in London”.

The mayor argues “lots of reasons” were to blame, such as tighter vetting requirements for new recruits and concerns over salary levels during a cost of living crisis which has hit London particularly hard.

Hall has already pledged to “put police officers back in communities, by bringing back borough-based policing”, which will be supported by investing £200m into the force.

“We will stop at nothing until criminals are locked up and our streets are safer again,” she has promised, adding that she will stop police stations closing, create more safe spaces for women, and provide new funding for scan and search in knife-crime hotspots.

The mayor was joined in announcing the additional officers by shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, who said London’s new police would come from a pool of 13,000 extra officers nationwide.

She told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the officers would be funded nationally using “savings” identified by the Police Foundation think tank.

“They have identified £360m of savings that can be made within policing budgets through changing the way that procurement and services are operated across the 43 forces,” she said.

“What Labour would do is make sure that those savings happen and that they are invested into neighbourhood policing right across the country.”

She admitted however that further money for the Met under a Labour government would only come after first “getting the economy growing strongly”, as funding is currently “really tight for public services”.

The London mayoral election is on 2nd May, along with elections to the London Assembly.

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