Tackling Crime in the Capital

It is the Mayor’s first priority to make London safe and in the build up to the 2008 Mayoral election, I was horrified by the incidents of knife and gun crime in our capital. Beyond that there was an atmosphere of intimidation and a fear of young people. Anti-social behaviour and robberies were rife, and violent crime in London went up 11.2% between 2000/01 and 2007/08.[1] My predecessor blamed everyone else, most notably the media, for the rises, claiming, “If it bleeds it leads”.

Crime is very real and affects everyone. That is why I have brought new leadership to the Metropolitan Police and put more police on the streets to tackle this problem head-on.

Crime in London has been cut by 10.8%.[2]

In London under Boris Johnson:

  • Robberies are down 16.3%.[3]
  • Murders are down by 25.9%.[4]
  • Youth violence is down by 13.8% since 2008,[5]
  • Bus crime is down by 32.9%.[6]
  • Violence on buses is down by 21%.[7]
  • Tube crime is down by 20%, making London Underground the safest metro system in Europe.[8]

By May, there will be 1,000 more police officers on the streets than when Boris was elected in May 2008.[9]

More than doubled the number of Special Constables from 2,500 to well over 5,000.[10]

Invested an extra £132 million in the Met. The Mayor’s 2011 Budget secured an extra £42 million for the Met and a recent £90 million from the Treasury has increased total additional investment to £132 million.[11]

Cracked down on gangs.  In February 2011 Boris Johnson launched a major new crack down on gang crime, which saw 200 people arrested in the first day. The initiative targets 19 priority boroughs, including Hackney.[12]

By the definitive measure – murder rates – London has never been safer. You are four times more likely to be murdered in New York than in London.[13] Murders in London are at their lowest level since 1978.[14]

Taken 11,000 knives and guns off London’s streets through Operation Blunt 2 and the use of knife arches and amnesties.[15]

Made 2,500 young people earn their free travel back after misbehaving on buses. Under Boris’s Payback London more than 2,500 young people who have abused their right to free travel with anti-social behaviour have had to win back that right through community service.[16]

Cracked down on illegal minicabs, doubling the police team dedicated to tackling the problem with 34 extra police officers,[17] leading to 1,300 arrests made in 2010/11 for touting and other cab-related offences.[18]

Banned alcohol on public transport. Boris Johnson’s ban on alcohol on public transport in London came into force on 1 June 2008.[19]


[1] MPS, Crime Figures 2000-2008, link

[2] MOPC, Monthly Report: Police and Crime Committee, 8 March 2012. Comparing 45 months of Ken Livingstone (August 2004 – April 2008) with 45 months of Boris Johnson (May 2008 – January 2012). August 2004-April 2008 TNO was 3,486,028. In May 2008-January 2012 it was 3,110,245.

[3] Ibid. August 2004-April 2008 Robbery was 157,344. May 2008-January 2012 it was 131,634.

[4] Ibid. August 2004-April 2008 Homicide was 645. May 2008- January 2012 it was 478.

[5] MOPC Statistics. Youth Violence in 2008: 21,004; Youth Violence in 2011: 18,110.

[6] MOPC, Monthly Report: Police and Crime Committee, 8 March 2012. Comparing 45 months of Ken Livingstone (August 2004 – April 2008) with 45 months of Boris Johnson (May 2008 – January 2012). August 2004-April 2008 Bus related crime was 136,207. May 2008 to January 2012 Bus related crime was 91,545.

[7] TfL, Crime and Anti Social Behaviour Statistical Bulletin, Q2 11/12, Table 2.1, link

[8] TfL, Press Release, 21 February 2011, link

[9] GLA, The Mayor’s Consultation Budget, 22 December 2011, p.1, link

[10] MPA Website, Police numbers, link

[11] GLA, Mayor’s Final Budget 2011-12, link; Evening Standard, 30 January 2012, link

[12] GLA, Press Release, 8 February 2012, link

[13] GLA, People’s Question Time, 3 March 2010, p. 10, link

[14] GLA, Press Release, 22 September 2010, link

[15] GLA, Press Release, 3 February 2011, link

[16] London Legacy Website, ‘Payback London’, 21 May 2009, link; BTCV Website, EYTB, link

[17] TfL Website, ‘Cab enforcement’, link

[18] TfL, Press Release , 23 May 2011, link

[19] TfL, Press Release, 30 May 2008, link

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