Four out of five Londoners believe crime will rocket when lockdown measures are eased as Tories condemn Sadiq Khan over plans to cut capital’s policing budget by £110m
- Conservative MPs condemned Mayor’s plan to cut the capital’s police budget
- City Hall opinion poll found 80% of Londoners fear crime will rise after lockdown
- And 61% expect crime to soar back to 2019’s record levels or above
Four out of five Londoners believe that crime rates will rise when lockdown restrictions in the capital are eased.
The YouGov poll for City Hall found that 80% fear crime will increase, while just four per cent of residents believing it will stay at similar levels as those seen during the pandemic.
The Conservatives’ leader of the Greater London Authority, Susan Hall, said the poll was ‘damning’ for London Mayor Sadiq Khan on his ‘ability to keep our city safe.’
She also condemned Khan’s plans to cut the capital’s policing budget by nearly £110million.
The YouGove poll also revealed that 61 per cent of Londoners expect crime to soar back to 2019’s record levels or even exceed them.
Four out of five Londoners believe that crime rates will go through the roof when lockdown measures are eased. Stock picture
Ms Hall accused Khan of ‘ignoring’ Londoners’ priorities by planning to cut London’s policing budget.
The Mayor announced in June that he was thinking of slashing London’s policing budget by nearly £110million to help plug the £493million gap in City Hall’s finances due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Metropolitan Police currently has 32,401 officers – an increase of 800 since Khan becoming Mayor in May 2016.
The Met and London Fire Brigade face the smallest percentage cuts because of their critical public safety roles and because they have already been cut over the last decade.
City Hall, which has about 1,000 staff, has been earmarked for £59million of cuts. The fire brigade could be cut by £25million.
Mr Khan is expected to publish his formal policing draft budget in the next few weeks.
It comes after Conservative MPs condemned London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s plan to cut the capital’s policing budget by nearly £110million, even after his own opinion poll found 80 per cent of Londoners fear crime will rise after the pandemic
In 2019, homicide reached an 11-year high in the capital and knife crime reached record levels with more than 15,000 blade offences.
Crime fell in the capital after the country was locked down.
Susan Hall AM, GLA Conservatives’ Leader, commented: ‘This is a damning verdict from Londoners on the Mayor’s ability to keep our city safe.
‘It’s no surprise that only 4 per cent of Londoners think crime won’t rise again after watching Sadiq Khan fail to keep London safe for four years.
‘On the Mayor’s watch, homicide rose to an 11-year high and knife crime reached record levels. Coronavirus may have reduced crime temporarily, but it won’t stay low unless Sadiq Khan ditches his failed approach.
‘The Mayor needs to cut his bloated City Hall budgets to protect and bolster policing in London.
‘Sadiq Khan would be ignoring Londoners’ priorities if he cut London’s policing budget by nearly £110 million. No Londoner wants to see the police cut so Khan can protect his extravagant PR machine at City Hall.
‘It’s not too late for the Mayor to listen to Londoners and do the right thing to keep our city safe.’