A spate of muggings in Richmond has been blamed on the government underfunding the police service.

Although the borough is one of the safest in London, a recent rise in personal robberies has worried councillors.

They voted to call on the government and the Mayor of London to give more resources to the police – who are currently struggling to fill vacancies.

Cabinet member for community safety Cllr Liz Jaeger, who proposed the motion, said: “It is a fact that we are a safe borough. However, in recent weeks we have seen a spate of crimes that have shocked many local communities.

“There are a host of reasons for these crimes. However, one thing is clear – there are fewer police officers on the beat and a rise in vacancies.

 “Our local police work so hard to keep us safe. But, they can only work within the resources they have. They are stretched.

“The only way to fix this problem is for the government and the Mayor of London to provide adequate funding. Our safety is in their hands.”

The motion was passed unanimously, with councillors from all parties supporting the calls.

Cllr Peter Buckwell, an opposition councillor from South Richmond, seconded the motion, he said: “It’s no secret that the rise in violent crime across London has taken everybody by surprise.

“The number of attacks on teenagers is of particular concern to parents.

“We also have a rise in the number of minor crimes, professional beggars, pickpockets, shoplifters and anti-social behaviour.

“To deter crime we need a daily visible police presence in our town centres. Our police do a great job but they need additional resources.

“Many residents feel unsafe. We need more police are required on our streets and more funding is needed to see violent crime eliminated from our borough.”

In May last year, the police forces of Richmond, Kingston, Wandsworth and Merton merged to form the South West Basic Command Unit (BCU).

The force is currently struggling with a large number of unfilled positions.

South West BCU commander Chief Superintendent Sally Benatar said: “We work closely in partnership with Richmond Council, local partners and community groups to keep Richmond upon Thames a safe borough.

“The Metropolitan Police is actively recruiting police officers now; this will enable us to fill the vacancies we currently have on the South West BCU and allow us to continue to prioritise our preventative approach to tackling crime and violence.”