Cuts to the number of police officers in Greenwich borough has prompted the council to demand the Government increase spending on the Met.

Since 2010 Greenwich has lost 168 police officers and a further 117 police community support officers due to a £600m cut to the Met Police’s budget.

Greenwich Council has started urging residents to write to the home secretary, demanding that the government increases the funding for police in London, and even providing an online form with a template.

Lesley Tuckley, who runs the busy Earl of Chatham in Thomas Street in Woolwich, is among the businesses concerned by the drop in police numbers.

She said: “Woolwich is an up-and-coming place and many more people are coming to live here so it is vital that we at the very least maintain police levels to ensure a safe environment.

“Woolwich town centre is a safe place but with the rising population we need more rather than less police officers.”

Greenwich borough has seen a large increase in the number of young people who are victims of violent or knife crime, according to the London Assembly’s gang crime and serious youth violence page.

In October 2013, 23 people under the age of 25 had been injured in knife crime. That number rose steadily every year and in October 2017, 79 young people had been injured in knife crime.

The number of young victims of serious violence has more than doubled in five years in the borough, from 113 in October 2013, to 273 in October 2017.

Councillor Jackie Smith, cabinet member for community safety and environment, said: “It is simply shocking that we have lost 168 police officers and 117 PCSOs in a period in which crime has risen and the population of the Royal Borough is growing.

"I am hearing more and more stories from residents and businesses expressing concern over the policing of crime and anti-social behaviour.

“Greenwich Police do a fantastic job and we have worked together in a number of ground-breaking projects.

“But any further cuts to officers will leave policing in the borough in a perilous state and would jeopardise the ability of officers to respond to incidents and carry out the vital preventative and community safety work it undertakes with the Council.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: "We have announced a comprehensive settlement will increase funding for local, national and counter terrorism police by up to £450m next year.

"There are more officers for each Londoner than anywhere else in the country. The Mayor of London is accountable to the London public for police performance and is empowered to raise local precept to increase funding.

“The Metropolitan Police will receive more than £2.5billion in funding, of which around £1.9billion is Government funding and around £600m from the precept if it is maximised. The Met also has £240m of reserves, to cover unexpected costs and invest, for example in better technology.

"Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services has said the Metropolitan Police "requires improvement” around efficiency. We expect forces to embrace digital and increase productivity and will continue to provide support to help them do so.”