For London to prosper, Londoners need to feel safe. That’s why, in my ambition to be a Mayor for all Londoners, I take the city’s policing and tackling crime seriously.
The fact is the next Mayor will inherit a city less safe and dangerously vulnerable because our police are spread so thinly. Tory cuts have seen £600million slashed from the Met, resulting in a massive drop in neighbourhood policing and fewer officers on the beat.
This is against a backdrop of a worrying rise in violent crime, particularly knife crime. Hate crime is also on the rise – embarrassing for a city famed for its openness and tolerance. While too many victims of crime are still treated as an afterthought or ignored altogether.
I’m determined to change this. If I win, I’ll make restoring real neighbourhood policing the top priority for the Met. We need their vital visible, local presence, helping to prevent and detect crime, acting as the eyes and ears of our security services, identifying the spread of extremism at its roots.
I’ll clamp down on violent crime and the problems of gangs by implementing a tough knife crime and anti-gangs strategy. I’ll also instruct the Met to adopt a strict zero tolerance approach to hate crime, whether it’s based on someone’s age, sexuality, gender, religion, race, nationality or disability.
We also need to do much more to tackle violence against women and girls. That’s why I’ve committed to a greater police presence on public transport at key times to clamp down on sexual assault. I’ll work with the public sector and voluntary groups to develop better support for victims of sexual and domestic violence.
I also know that without good community relations, the police’s work is much harder. That’s why I’ll do more to ensure the police look like the communities they serve, with the aim of having a Met that is as diverse as London’s population. And I’ll ensure that stop and search is used in an evidence-based and targeted manner. Used properly, it is a valuable tool in the fight against crime, but used indiscriminately it can harm trust in the police.
I’ll also appoint an independent Victims Commissioner to stand up for victims in London. And I’ll publish information on a Track My Crime website so victims can keep up to date with the latest on their case.
Londoners worried that police cuts are leaving our city exposed to criminals and the threat of terrorism are looking for a Mayor who’ll give them the reassurances they need. My manifesto, with strong commitments on policing, combating knife crime and tackling extremism will ensure London is a safer place to live and work.