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London Chamber of Commerce and IndustryLondon Chamber of Commerce and Industry
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Business calls for action to end London’s police funding crisis

Tuesday 10 January 2023

Home Secretary Suella Braverman was urged by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) to end the funding crisis being faced by the Metropolitan Police and the City of London Police.

The demand was made in response to the Home Office consultation on the police grant for the new financial year.

LCCI highlighted that business crime in the capital had gone up month on month since February 2020 with boroughs such as Westminster, Camden, Southwark, Newham, Lambeth and Islington, amongst others, being badly affected by offences such as theft and handling and violence against the person. In respect of the City of London, the overall crime rate in City of London in 2021 was 665 crimes per 1,000 people. This compared poorly to London's overall crime rate, coming in 667% higher than the London rate of 87 per 1,000 residents.

The new Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, was praised by the Chamber for taking some good steps, since coming into office, to cut down on crime. Superintendents have been introduced for each London borough with some positive initiatives, such as in Hayes, where the PCSO and local officers are based in a local church on the High Street so that the police can be in regular contact with local businesses.

However, with the Metropolitan Police having a national anti-terrorism role, the City of London Police having a national anti-fraud role and with inflation at over 10%, the capital’s police forces needed extra resources to tackle business crime. The Home Office has already conceded its police funding formula needs change – but these changes will not come in time for 2023/24.

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive, Richard Burge, said there was no time to lose in cracking down on business crime:

“London is recovering from the pandemic and is resilient in the face of cost pressures caused by Putin’s aggression in Ukraine. For some businesses, the impact of business crime can be a step too far when examining day to day issues such as insurance premiums and monitoring P&L accounts. Whilst a strategic approach is needed from the Home Office for the future police funding formula to be fit for purpose, we need action for the coming financial year as well so that London businesses do not fall victim to an emerging new cost pressure – business crime”.

You can read the letter in full here.