London

'Stretched' Met Police in talks over future funding

Armed police officers stand guard inside the cordon near Finsbury Park Image copyright FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA
Image caption Cressida Dick said the Met Police was "stretched" by recent terror attacks and an increase in violent crimes

The Metropolitan Police is in talks to secure more funding after being left "stretched" by terror attacks and a rise in violent crime, London's most senior police officer has said.

Met Commissioner Cressida Dick said she was talking to the government about reconsidering future funding.

In the last four years, the Met has had to make £600m of savings and is due to lose an extra £400m by 2020.

"We need the resources to do the job," Commissioner Dick told BBC London.

The Home Office said it was "undertaking a period of detailed engagement with policing partners and relevant experts".

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Both Met Police commissioner Cressida Dick and Mayor Sadiq Khan have warned about the effect of future cuts

Increased police patrols have been promised during Ramadan after a man drove a van into group of worshippers close to a mosque in north London.

Investigations are ongoing into two other "terrorist incidents" which have taken place in London over the last four months.

Violent crime has increased 63% since May 2013 according to the latest figures - including a 54% increase in gun crime in the last two years.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said planned cuts could put 12,800 police jobs at risk.

'A quarter smaller'

Former Met Police Commissioner Lord Blair said London's police force was "under an enormous amount of pressure".

"Looking at what is happening, the idea of continually cutting the police services budget seem just an absurdity at this point," he told Radio 4's Today programme.

If funding is not "reconsidered" the force will end up "a quarter less in size than when I left [in 2008]," Lord Blair added.

Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson both said the amount spent on counter terrorism was protected.

Commissioner Dick said: "We're stretched and I'm talking with the mayor and the government about the resources that we need.

"We undoubtedly need a very capable police service in the future for all the reasons people can see," she added.

A Home Office spokesman said: "Police funding has been protected since the spending review in 2015.

"The Metropolitan Police, like all forces, continue to have the resources they need to keep us safe and secure".

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