London has been in the Sunday papers over the weekend. There are three stories which all touch on policing/public safety in some way.
The Sunday Times has been reporting that Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, has been told that he will not have his contract renewed. Apparently he is not only out of favour with the new mayor but also with the Labour government.
Blair’s contract runs out in January 2010. This is a problem as we will most likely still have a Labour government and a Labour Home Secretary by then. This means that we will have a another Labour placeman as commissioner for five years after Labour inevitably leave power in May 2010. Hopefully Blair will use his last two years to focus on driving out knife crime and other violent crime.
The Mail on Sunday has an interesting piece on how the new Mayor is going to cut out City Hall junkets in favour of public safety spending. No doubt it presages some initiatives to be announced next week.
Finally, there is a piece from Boris in the News of the World which is part of their “Save our streets” campaign:
I was as sickened and horrified as everyone else in Britain by the murder of altar boy Jimmy Mizen at a baker’s shop in London last weekend. It was a tragic reminder—as if we needed one—of the problems we face throughout Britain today. Last year in London alone 27 teenagers were murdered.
As London mayor I will do everything in my power to stop other parents going through the heartbreak Jimmy’s parents are suffering. All over Britain, drug crime, knife attacks, violence, drunkenness and disorder are creating streets of fear where decent people fear to tread.
I intend to stop that rot in London, demonstrating how common sense Conservative policies can heal this damaged nation and put the whole country back on track.
I want what we achieve, here, to be a beacon for the rest of Britain to follow.
I have already honoured my campaign promise to put hundreds of uniformed men and women on major transport hubs.
The Metropolitan Police have beefed up their stop and search operation. They are focusing on key estates and are armed with knife scanners.
My alcohol ban on the London underground comes into force in a fortnight. This could be rolled out to stop drunks making life a misery on trains all over the country.
Gangs, guns and drugs are proving more attractive to young people than family, school and qualifications. And that’s got to stop.
We must fill the vacuum left by the breakdown of the family.
We must give these kids boundaries, discipline, vision and self-esteem. And show them they CAN turn their lives around—and lose the sense that the world is against them.
I won’t pretend there is some messiah-like solution. But I do believe investment in the right areas will reap huge rewards.
I’ll do my part and tackle this menace in London. I pray the government follow my lead and do the same for Britain.