Lambeth Council will buy extra police constables and a sergeant to focus on prostitution, antisocial behaviour in parks, and gang violence – giving the borough 11 funded officers through the Met Partnership Plus scheme.

This comes after the Met announced a similar scheme, in which the council bought nine officers as part of a 'buy one get one free offer', would end in March.

Lambeth will buy five new officers, including one sergeant, and keep six officers from the previous scheme who will cover a range of ‘high harm’ issues.

This includes issues such as modern slavery, prostitution, night time economy, drug trafficking, and anti social behaviour enforcement, a council officer told the cabinet.

Under the previous scheme, the cost of two police officers was around £70,000. Under the new scheme, each officer will cost £57,000, with the contract expected to cost the council around £746,250 over the three year contract.

The funding was pooled from a number of council departments, the council officer explained.

Cllr Mohammed Seedat told the cabinet there was a good business plan for paying for the officers, with fewer resources available to the authority as a result of police cuts.

The  cabinet member for jobs, skills and community safety said: “This particular scheme from the Met Police and Mayor of London is to purchase police officers on what used to be a 'buy one get one free' scheme.

“That is no longer the case. We have to stump up for the officers that we want, but we believe there is  a credible and good business plan reason around doing so.

“It will definitely help us achieve our aims, specifically around violence against women and girls' issues.

“Because of huge cuts to the police service, £1bn over last decade to 2021, it means the resources available to us as a council at our disposal to help us with our serious issues in the borough are no longer there. That means we are put in this position to try and acquire police officers,” he added.

The council officer said the new funded police officers will be based in the civic centre but will cover the whole borough, with a focus on issues at the centre and south of the borough. 

He said: “They will be deployed in our parks where we have high levels of anti social behaviour and where we know we have street prostitution and those issues.

“Although there will be some overlap we can’t promise they’ll be in Brixton dealing with all the issues in there

“The significance of the sergeant is we will be able to coordinate all 10 of them across the borough for maximum impact,” he said.

The new officers are expected to start on October 1.