July 4, 2022

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Sadiq Khan warns London, ‘Poverty may increase violent crime’

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Poverty is on the rise across the country and the link to violent crime is clear (Picture: Getty)

The mayor of London fears that recent advances in knife-wielding and gun crime in the city could be replaced by a life-threatening crisis.

Sadiq Khan said the modest gains in tackling juvenile violence are under threat from the financial crisis facing families.

Low growth, high taxes and rising inflation in commodities like energy and food are putting people in real trouble.

The mayor said he was concerned that the effects could soon be seen on the capital’s streets.

Office for National Statistics data has revealed that knife crime has decreased by 7% and gun crime by 18% in 2021.

There has been a 64% reduction in the number of juveniles murdered in London in the first five months of 2022 compared to the same period a year earlier.

Mr Khan acknowledged that ‘the level of violence remains very high’ but noted the good news in the figures.

epa09765585 Mayor of London Sadiq Khan speaking to the media in London, Britain, 17 February 2022.  Khan denied claims that he told Met Chief Cressida Dick that he would suspend police officers involved in the Charing Cross disciplinary scandal if he did not.  Meanwhile, the Met Police Federation said it has

Sadiq Khan welcomed the recent progress but warned it could be undone due to declining living standards (Picture: EPA)

However, he cautioned ‘we must accept that the rising cost of living can make things even more challenging and even risk taking us backwards.

Mr Khan said rising costs would further exacerbate deprivation and poverty, which are major factors in violent crime.

According to a City Hall analysis, six of the 10 boroughs with the greatest increase in unemployment due to the pandemic were represented in the top 10 for serious violence.

Two of London’s 32 boroughs (Barking and Dagenham, Hackney) are among the 10 most disadvantaged areas in the country.

Alex Murray, the Met’s commander in chief for combating violent crime, said: ‘Officials across London are doing everything they can to tolerate it, working with partners to prevent it from happening in the first place.

‘The officers do it with so much passion because they see firsthand how violence ruins the lives of victims and their families, that’s what motivates them.

The mayor has prepared the police to tackle violent crime in his program for the capital (Picture: EPA)

‘We know we can face challenges in the summer months and we can all do more.’

“More needs to be done across the board to reduce the impact of the cost of living on the most vulnerable in society,” said Ben Lindsay, chief executive and founder of youth violence charity Power the Fight.

Mr Khan has focused on recruiting more police officers to reduce violent crime.

The strength of police officers is at an all-time high of 34,542 and the Mets’ Violent Crime Taskforce has also been formed to target the most dangerous criminals.

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