Tower Hamlets Council is planning to spend £1.5m on extra police officers to clamp down on crime in the borough.

The extra funding is part of the authority’s proposed budget for 2023 and 2024.

Tower Hamlets Council hopes that having more officers on the beat will cut crime and make locals feel safer.

As well as hiring extra police, the council plans to spend £2.9m on Tower Hamlets Enforcement Officers and wants to invest another £215,000 in CCTV across the borough.

Speaking at the council’s cabinet meeting on Wednesday, January 4, Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman said: “We’re third in London when it comes to crime, the third highest crime-ridden borough in London, that’s unacceptable. It’s terrible.

“To see our borough in this state over the last seven to eight years because of the cuts in post by the previous administration, it’s terrible, it’s shameful.

“We’re investing in more police officers, we’re investing in more Tower Hamlets Enforcement Officers and CCTV cameras, that combined with investing in the youth services should make a difference when it comes to reducing crime in the borough.”

According to CrimeRate, Tower Hamlets is in the top 10 most dangerous boroughs in London, and had an overall crime rate of 97 crimes per 1,000 people in 2021.

Tackling crime in the borough is part of the council’s eight key priorities set out in its strategic plan. Other priorities include tackling the cost of living crisis, investing in public services and boosting culture, businesses, jobs and leisure.

Cllr Saied Ahmed, cabinet member for resources and the cost of living, told cabinet members that the budget will deliver “significant investment” in council services, which is mentioned in Mr Rahman’s manifesto.

He said: “This budget delivers significant investment in council services and  delivers on the mayor’s manifesto. There is significant new investment in youth services, in community safety and in education to name a few.”

Mr Rahman, of the Aspire Party, said council services had been “reduced to the bone” due to funding cuts, but added: “I am extremely thrilled, excited and honoured, that the people of this borough on May 5, gave us a mandate to reverse change and redirect the course of history in this borough.”

Further details about the council’s key priorities for its 2023-24 budget report will be heard at a later cabinet meeting on January 25, 2023.