It is a pleasure to follow the fantastic speech by my hon. Friend Anna Turley.
Police funding is a major issue in my constituency, as it is across London, and has become a major issue because of nine years of devastating Government cuts. In the name of austerity, central Government funding for the Metropolitan police has been cut by more than £650 million since 2011, and the Government are enforcing a further £263 million of savings by 2023.
Those cuts have consequences, including for police numbers. More than 3,000 police community support officers have been taken off London’s streets since 2010, which is a decrease of nearly 75%, and nearly 3,000 police officers have been taken off our streets, including hundreds from my streets in Battersea. Nearly one in six police officers in Wandsworth have been lost in the last three years alone. One result of these cuts has been the decimation of community policing, which used to ensure that police officers were embedded within communities, were trusted and knowledgeable, and had relationships with the local community.
As I said, funding cuts have consequences for the police and police cuts have consequences for crime, community safety and the wellbeing of my constituents. Just as the Government are slashing police funding, violent crime is rising dramatically. I wish the Home Secretary was in his place, because he refuses to acknowledge that the reduction in policing will lead to a rise in violent crime. It is a fact; the evidence is there. We on the Opposition Benches can acknowledge that, because we witness it daily.
Since 2013, violent crime has increased by 57%. In the first six months of last year in Wandsworth, it increased by more than 15%. Moped crime has been soaring.