Sajid Javid hints at cash injection for London police amid surge in violence
The home secretary has told Sky News the police need more funding to help tackle knife crime as he hinted the chancellor would be stumping up the cash in the coming weeks.
Speaking exclusively to Sky News in the wake of five fatal stabbings in the capital in just seven days, Sajid Javid said he was “deeply worried” about the spiralling violence and said he was in discussions with the chancellor to make sure the police had the financial resources they needed.
“I think resources is part of the issue, making sure that police as they deal with more of these complex situations that they have the resource they need,” he told Sky News on a trip to Seattle to discuss tackling online child abuse with tech giants.
“That is why I welcome the commitment by the chancellor just a week ago to sit down with me and discuss what resource is needed for the police and we have the December settlement just a few weeks away so this is something that can be looked at very, very quickly.”
Mr Javid also hinted that his conversations with Philip Hammond on finding more resource to help tackle knife crime had been positive as he hinted more money could be on the way before the year is out.
He said: “What we saw in this budget was a chancellor that was listening. He listened to the needs of the defence service and health and others and he set out quite rightly that he’s going to listen to the needs of the police, so I am very confident that he’s listening.”
It comes as pressure grows for more resources after years of austerity for the forces.
Community policing has fallen by up to a fifth since 2010 on the back of cuts to police budgets, while officer numbers fell by more than 20,000 over the same period.
The number of arrests in England and Wales have halved but recorded crime in a number of categories, including homicide and knife-related offences, have risen.
Reflecting on the recent spate of youth violence and whether money would be set aside soon, Mr Javid added: “I have spoken to the chancellor since… it is something that he takes great interest in and he will be looking at this very carefully in the coming weeks.”