In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, several people across the UK are now concerned about the impending financial crisis.
Due to the crisis, police forces across the country will be forced to come to terms with a “new era of austerity” with some forces facing their worst ever annual budget cuts.
Among those concerned about the impending financial crisis is the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. He cautioned that the funding crisis might affect the government`s pledge to recruit 20,000 extra officers to fight crime and threatens to leave the police “with one hand tied behind their back”.
The London mayor oversees the largest force, the Metropolitan police. Khan pointed out that the shortfall “could jeopardise our ability to tackle the violent crime at the crucial juncture”.
During the lockdown, police forces spent extra money on protective equipment and computers as many officers were working from home. From March to June an estimate of £100m was spent in costs to run a standard police service.
Khan, opposed by a number of critics for being quick to blame the government, wrote: “If we don’t have certainty from the government over funding now, I am concerned that we will not be able to afford the early recruitment of 600 new officers as planned. We would also need to consider recruitment freezes in staff posts across the Met, which would risk affecting core services such as the handling of 999 calls and vital intelligence and forensics services.
“I fear that failure to act quickly will not only put the government’s pledge to recruit 20,000 additional officers over the next three years at risk and damage services that help to tackle the root causes of crime, but will leave the police with one hand tied behind their back at the worst possible time.”