In an interview with the Metro, our Mayor said that his proudest achievement was bringing down crime. The Back Boris team clearly and succinctly set out the facts here. Boris should be proud of these achievements.
The Mayor said: “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, with robberies rising by 19.6%, and blighting the lives of thousands. 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.
Since I became Mayor in 2008:
- Crime has fallen by 8.8% across London
- Robberies are down 20%
- Youth crime is down 15%
- The murder rate has fallen by over a quarter and is now at its lowest level since 1978
- By 2012 there will be one million more police patrols a year compared to when I was elected, giving a reassuring uniformed presence on the streets and deterring crime
- I have removed over 10,000 knives and guns from the streets
On youth crime:
- I launched Payback London – a scheme whereby teenagers have their free travel taken away from them and have to earn it back through community service.
- I opened the Heron Unit, at Feltham Young Offenders’ Institute, which has seen reoffending rates drop from 78% to just 14% after youths are given intensive support to change. It has been so successful that there are plans to expand it
- I have launched a new scheme to stop kids falling into violent crime using education for first time offenders and better sports facilities
- I have delivered an extra 439 police officers to patrol the transport network. These Safer Transport Teams have had success in driving down crime, with crime on the buses down by 30% – its lowest ever
- I have banned alcohol from all Transport for London services to make journeys safer and more pleasant
- I have cracked down on illegal minicabs by doubling the number of police officers dedicated to stamping them out, making it safer for women to travel at night
On sex crimes:
- I have quadrupled London’s rape crisis provision. Under the previous Mayor, the number of Rape Crisis centres dwindled to just one in Croydon. Now there are three extra ones serving north, east and west London.
In 2007, the year before Boris became Mayor, 27 teenagers were murdered, a deeply upsetting statistic.