Today Keith Dovkants in the Evening Standard did a two-page spread exposing how Sir Ian Blair is more interested in feathering his own nest and pursuing political objectives than in addressing Londoners’ priorities.
The Mayor immediately put out a press release supporting Blair and pointing out that crime had fallen 6.3% last year.
I guess I have to be one of those politicians described by the Mayor as: “skulking around in plots and conspiracies against the Police Commissioner, and by extension the Met as a whole, whilst crime in London is falling and police numbers are at record levels.”
Is policing better? Not if you look at in-your-face crimes involving violence. Violence against the person accounted for 156,880 crimes before the Mayor, up 16% to 182,355 last year. Sexual offences were at 9,189 crimes before the Mayor, peaked at 10,864 in 2004/5 and were still slightly up at 9,305 last year. Robbery is up 26%. 36,317 before the Mayor and 45,771 last year.
Whilst the Mayor and Ian Blair both claim credit for implementing Safer Neighbourhood Teams speedily they are not designed to tackle violent crime which is way too high in London. The SNTs are great but they merely represent a bolt-on to a Met police force that is unreformed and unable to bear down on violent crime. The SNTs are a poor bargain if we are paying a precept that is three times bigger under the Mayor but violent crime is still out of control and rising.