Mayor Sadiq Khan Cuts £110M from Police Budget as Violence Explodes in London
Liberal mayor targets cops as British capital struggles with violent mobs
London's far-left Mayor Sadiq Khan has slashed a whopping £110 million ($136M) from the city's police budget as cops in the British capital battle to contain a recent explosion in violence.
Mayor Khan stunned the public with his Friday announcement, just hours after Met Police Chief Cressida Dick vowed to crack down on London's rioting and violent illegal raves.
The city's top cop said 140 force staff had been injured trying to break up the outlawed gatherings which she branded "completely utterly unacceptable."
Many of the lockdown-breaking gatherings have turned into rioting and violent clashes with police.
She insists the police have managed to stop a number of the illegal events, including one in Mitcham on Thursday night.
But as police vowed to do more to quell the violence, Khan announced staggering cuts to the London police force.
Khan said he expected to have to make huge cuts to police funding due to a £493million shortfall sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.
He insisted: "The scale of the challenge is far beyond anything that any local or regional authority could have prepared for.
"My first priority is to protect frontline emergency services, which is why we have outlined proportionately smaller savings for the police and fire brigade."
The developments came hours after a phone call between Dame Cressida and Home Secretary Priti Patel this morning.
Mrs. Patel had said yesterday she wanted a "full explanation" after fear police were losing control of the streets.
Sources close to the Home Secretary said she had requested the conversation.
The commissioner said violence broke out at a gathering in Notting Hill "where some missiles were thrown and some aggression shown to the officers which is completely utterly unacceptable."
She added: "These events are unlawful.
"They shouldn't be happening and we have a duty to go and close them down and to disperse them.
"The local communities hate them, (it is) incredibly anti-social behavior, very noisy during a pandemic and sometimes violence.
"For our officers who are simply doing their duty to be attacked is utterly unacceptable."
No officers were injured during the Notting Hill violence which the commissioner described as "very unacceptable behavior but very much less serious" than the trouble at a block party in Brixton on Wednesday night.
More than 20 officers were injured during the trouble in Brixton which included three "really quite nasty injuries."
The commissioner added: "It was a really really horrible incident for them to deal with, really vicious attacks by people using bottles, glasses and anything they could pick up."
She estimated that "well over 100" officers have been injured during the series of protests, including Black Lives Matter demonstrations, which have taken place in recent weeks.
The commissioner, who noted that some injuries may not be reported until after the incident, suggested that the number of police injuries is now "heading up to 140-odd officers, I think, in the last three weeks."
She added she was in Brixton last night, added: "What I saw was Met officers poised to deal with what was required, ready in full kit should there be any violent or aggressive crowds to deal with.
"The officers on the ground have to make a decision when they are called to do something and how to do that most safely.
"I am not going to second guess all the decisions on the night at Brixton, suffice to say I have set out as commissioner to ensure that my people are as well supported and as well equipped as they possibly can be."
In a message to the public, she said: "Tell us about unlicensed music events. We will come and close them down.
"My message to my officers is that I will support you and I will do everything I can to ensure that you are able to do your job to your best ability and that you are well equipped."
There has been criticism of the Met's reaction in dealing with the pop-up music events
Former Met detective Peter Bleksley has slammed the force's tactics and said Friday: "Wednesday evening, Brixton, police in high-vis and flat caps.
"Thursday evening, Notting Hill, police in full public order kit. Inconsistent.
"Are senior officers making it up as they go along?"
Nigel Farage told MailOnline he fears a summer of violence after a second night of attacks on police in London.
He said: "There is more to come.
"Respect for the police is gone."