The London Mayor is to shift 122 officers from transport to a violent crime unit, as the capital’s crime wave continues.
Sadiq Khan’s City Hall and central government share responsibility for funding London’s Metropolitan Police Service, but the Violent Crime Taskforce is one area funded by the Mayor’s office.
The 122 officers will be transferred from the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC) to the task force for three months, City Hall said in a statement.
The move would boost the “targeted team making arrests and taking weapons off the streets in the areas of London with the highest concentrations of knife and other forms of violent crime”.
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) September 10, 2018
The move comes days after a poll revealed Mr Khan’s approval rating has crashed to its lowest level on record and is now in negative figures among several demographics.
Making the announcement Mayor Khan once again blamed the Tories for the crime wave in his city. He commented:
“This is drastic action that I would rather we didn’t have to take, but the Government’s persistent refusal to give our police service the funding they desperately need has left with us with no choice.”
Mr Khan has repeatedly denied responsibility and deflected blame for the problem on to the Tories and central government, saying in January that he “can not solve knife crime by [him]self” when pressed on the issue.
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) September 12, 2018
He added: “The causes of violent crime are extremely complex, and involve culture, community, gangs, drugs, poverty and a lack of opportunities and have been made much worse by the Government’s huge cuts to the Metropolitan Police and youth services across our city, resulting in police numbers falling to the lowest level in 20 years. Cuts really do have consequences.”
Conservative London Assembly Member Steve O’Connell said the measure was too little too late.
“Let’s not forget that under Sadiq Khan, crime in London is going through the roof. Knife crime has increased by nearly 50 per cent over the course of his mayoralty and the murder rate has surged by over 40 per cent.
“I welcome any measures taken to beef up the police’s response to the sky-high levels of violent crime in our city.
“However, this is clearly a knee-jerk reaction from the mayor following a summer of violent crime.
“This is just sticking plaster – these extra officers will only be in place for three months. Rather than temporarily shifting officers around, the mayor should be setting out a robust, long-term plan for tackling violent crime,” Mr O’Connell said.
Murders in London Overtake New York for First Time Since 1800 Under Sadiq Khanhttps://t.co/OUSiXJqXXP
— Simon Kent (@sunsimonkent) April 1, 2018