The leader of Harrow Council has criticised the Government’s approach to tackling crime in London after it announced a new ‘Serious Violence Strategy’.

Cllr Sachin Shah said the new programme was “too little, too late” as Downing Street reacted to a wave of killings across the capital earlier this month.

Home secretary Amber Rudd said the strategy will seek to reduce the level of violent crime in London so that “no parent has to bury their child”.

But Cllr Shah hit out at police cuts implemented under the Conservative government and questioned how it could ignore the negative impact this has had on the situation.

He said: “The Government’s Serious Violence Strategy is far too little and far too late.

“For eight years they have implemented austerity which has seen the number of police officers fall.

“To top it all off, they are in complete denial, saying that cutting police numbers does not lead to higher crime. Who are the trying to kid?

“The Government needs to properly fund the police service and councils. You cannot protect local communities when you cut funding to youth service, to social services and to the police.”

The strategy, which is backed by £40 million worth of funding, will impose tougher restrictions for buying knives online.

It also includes details of a new bill which seeks to ban the sale of corrosive liquids to under 18s.

Cllr Shah agreed that these measures are a step in the right direction but reiterated the fact that the city is suffering from reduced police numbers.

But the leader of Harrow Conservatives, Cllr Paul Osborn, said his Labour counterparts in the borough should also take some of the blame.

He argued that the Labour-run council stopped its own funding for a stronger police presence in the town centre and it was “a bit rich” for it to target cuts from central government.

He added that, if his party is successful in the upcoming local elections, he will look to reintroduce this spending.

“They took the money away when councils across London fought to maintain it,” Cllr Osborn said.

“More police in the town centre means you can spread your resources better across the borough, which benefits everyone.”

He added that he would closely monitor the new Basic Command Unit programme, which will see Harrow’s police service merge with those in Brent and Barnet.

Both he and Cllr Shah have vowed to fight Harrow’s corner going forward to ensure that its resources are not spread too thinly.