The latest Metropolitan Police figures have shown that crime rose in almost half of London’s 32 boroughs over the past year. Whilst crime overall is still slightly down Labour’s London Assembly Police and Crime Spokesperson Joanne McCartney AM warned of a worrying trend developing with more and more boroughs seeing crime rises over the past few months.
Official crime statistics up to March 2015 revealed that, compared with the previous year, crime is up in 15 of the 32 London boroughs, with a significant proportion of the rise driven by increases in the number of violent crimes. Whilst crime across the capital is still marginally down on the previous year, violent crime has risen 27% over the past year leading to concerns that the most serious crimes are on the rise.
The warning comes after the Mayor last month boasted that “crime continues to fall” – an attitude which Ms McCartney said left the “worrying rises unchallenged”. The rises come after the Mayor’s annual survey found that just 37% of Londoners believe the Met provided a “visible, reliable and responsive” presence in their local area. Ms McCartney warned that the figures showed the Mayor’s decision to cut back local neighbourhood policing teams was starting to have a real impact and urged the Mayor to get a handle on the localised crime rises before the trend became entrenched.
The London Borough of Hillingdon featured the highest crime rise with a 14% year on year hike, with 2621 additional crimes compared to the year before.
Labour’s London Assembly Crime Spokesperson Joanne McCartney AM said:
“For months Boris Johnson has refused to see the warning signs and now crime is once again starting to rise in many London Boroughs. Whilst it is of course welcome that crime overall is marginally down, we cannot be blind to the fact that in many boroughs the number of crimes is climbing.
“There is no doubt that the Mayor’s decision to cut neighbourhood policing teams and the fact there are 4130 fewer uniformed officers on our streets since 2010 has had a profound effect and has left our communities worse off. What London cannot afford is for the Mayor’s complacency to leave these worrying rises unchallenged.
“The fact that violent incidents are fueling a large proportion of these crime rises will be of deep concern to many Londoners. The Mayor needs to get a grip, accept there is a problem and take action to reverse this trend before it becomes entrenched.”