Sadiq Khan: Mayor warns cost of living crisis could reverse fall in violent crime

“I remain very concerned the cost of living crisis could jeopardise the progress we’ve made.”
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Sadiq Khan has repeated his warning that the encroaching cost of living crisis risks reversing London’s fall in violent crime.

The mayor’s comments came as he joined neighbourhood police officers on patrol in Peckham, south London, last night (Thursday, November 10).

Khan and assistant commissioner Louisa Rolfe, who leads frontline policing, joined local officers in Peckham town centre yesterday to see work being done to keep Londoners safe.

City Hall says knife crimes with injuries among under 25-year-olds have dropped by 22% since 2016, while gun crime and burglaries have also fallen by a fifth in the same period.

While teen murders have reduced in the capital, Khan says the number is still “far too high”.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan with local police officers in Peckham. Photo: City HallMayor of London Sadiq Khan with local police officers in Peckham. Photo: City Hall
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan with local police officers in Peckham. Photo: City Hall

He said: “Violence in the capital has reduced since 2016, with knife crime, gun crime, burglary and teenage homicides all falling – bucking the national trend.

“But more must be done. It’s clear the level of violence in London remains far too high and I remain very concerned the cost of living crisis could jeopardise the progress we’ve made.”

Khan added: “Tackling violence is my top priority and I’m determined to continue leading from the front in London by being tough on crime and tough on its complex causes.”

Sadiq Khan, mayor of London with police officers. Photo: City HallSadiq Khan, mayor of London with police officers. Photo: City Hall
Sadiq Khan, mayor of London with police officers. Photo: City Hall

Low-income families in the capital are being hit hardest as food and energy bills soar amid the energy price crisis.

City Hall says the mayor’s violence reduction unit (VRU) is supporting 70,000 young Londoners, via a positive opportunities partnership and early intervention approach.

But opponents have criticised Khan’s approach to crime - with GLA Tories blasting the mayor for telling Times Radio he had “never known [London] so bad”.

Mayor of London on patrol with Local Neighbourhood Policing team. Photo: GLAMayor of London on patrol with Local Neighbourhood Policing team. Photo: GLA
Mayor of London on patrol with Local Neighbourhood Policing team. Photo: GLA

City Hall Conservative leader Susan Hall said: “Err, mayor of London, for once I agree with you but YOU [sic] have been in charge for six years… clueless.”

And Conservative AM Nick Rogers added: “You’ve been mayor of London for more than six years.

“You can’t talk about this as a commentator - you literally lead the city.”

Assistant Commissioner Louisa Rolfe with Local Neighbourhood policing officer. Photo: GLAAssistant Commissioner Louisa Rolfe with Local Neighbourhood policing officer. Photo: GLA
Assistant Commissioner Louisa Rolfe with Local Neighbourhood policing officer. Photo: GLA

The Met Police says it now has a record 34,542 officers and is “committed to doing everything possible to restore trust and confidence in the police” following a string of scandals that saw ex-commissioner Cressida Dick forced to quit her role earlier this year.

AC Rolfe said: “We are using data in new ways to ensure we protect those most in need, and going after offenders, including men who commit violence at home and on the streets.

“All this is part of regaining and earning trust and having a visible presence in areas with higher levels of violence is also what Londoners rightly expect of us.”

She added: “We are building on our relationships with communities and ensuring our neighbourhood policing provides the quality service people deserve… and proactively and forensically targeting the drivers of violent crime.

“This week, specialist teams have been tackling high-harm offenders involved in supplying drugs across London, including in Southwark, building on the success of the Met’s county lines response and aimed at dismantling intra-London class A drug lines.”