The first duty of the Mayor is to protect Londoners.
When I was elected, I inherited a police force in need of strong leadership, where officers were tied to their desks by unnecessary paperwork. 27 teenagers had been murdered in 2007, but the response from City Hall was weak. Violent crime had increased, drug crime had more than doubled and public disorder offences on the tube had increased by 521%.
I promised to work to turn things around. By bringing fresh leadership to the Metropolitan Police Service, working with all London’s boroughs, and Londoners whatever their background and politics, we have made a good start.
Comparing my term against that of my predecessor: There are 1,000 extra warranted officers on the London’s streets now than there were in May 2008. Total crime has been cut by 10.8%. Murders have decreased by 25.9%, with the lowest rate since 1978. Youth violence has decreased by 13.8%, with the number of youth murders almost halving. Over 11,000 knives have been taken off the streets. Robberies are down by 16.3%. And bus crime has fallen by 30% since I put 697 extra police on our tube and buses and introduced with a ban on alcohol on the Transport for London network.
For all this hard work, last year’s riots show the full scale of the challenges we still face.
- Work with the Commissioner to deliver a massive boost to Safer Neighbourhood Teams, with an additional 2,000 police, including adding up to three police officers, to every team. Each team will also get three Special Constables to further boost police presence in our neighbourhoods.
- Maintain the extra 1,000 police officers I have put on the street.
- Double the number of Special Constables to 10,000 and offer, for the first time in Greater London, a 50% rebate on the Mayor’s share of council tax to Special Constables.
- Establish a Safer Neighbourhood Board in every borough giving local Londoners and victims a greater voice in setting policing priorities, with a £1million fund across London.
- Lobby for legislation to allow me to introduce a direct entry scheme to the Met.
- Give local people a direct say in Community Payback.
- Establish a new Sentencing Unit for London with a focus on violence, especially knife crime.
- Maintain funding for the extra police on the transport network which is at risk under Ken Livingstone’s plans to take £1.14bn out of the transport budget.
- Double the size of the Met’s Status Dogs Unit and seek tougher sentences for those using dogs as weapons in Greater London.