Sadiq Khan should stop focusing on PR and deliver on the demands of Londoners concerned about growing crime across the Capital, mayoral election candidate Shaun Bailey claimed. Mr Bailey, a long-time critic of the Mayor of London, insisted Mr Khan should stop “talking” to ensure the needs of local residents are met as he renewed his pledge to increase Police numbers to tackle knife crime. Speaking to talkRADIO, the mayoral candidate said: “Being Mayor of London is about doing things.
“Not talking, not making yourself look good but making life easier for Londoners.”
He continued: “I’m talking about a record-number of Police. I’ve talked about reopening the 38 Police station counters that Sadiq Khan closed to the public. These are two pledges I’ve made.
“I’ll make that happen. You’ll have at least two Police stations in every borough, some may have more because their council wants to get involved.
“On the other hand, I’m talking about what I call a second chance fund. If you look at knife crime, for example, a lot of people involved in the low-level of that are the re-offenders – I want to break that cycle.”
Mr Bailey added: “People have to feel like that have some future or they have some ownership because then they don’t offend.
“If you’re not connected to us then it’s alright to attack us but if you are connected you see things differently.”
Mr Khan’s PR machine came under fire again at the weekend after another mayoral candidate, the Greens’ Sian Berry, accused the Mayor of London of having his campaigns “advertise him” instead of environmentally-friendly public transport.
Ms Berry said: “He asks people to shift their modes of transport and he is investing in some transport in walking and cycling and railways.
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“But he is cutting investment in buses. My plans would also invest massively in the alternative so people have other options.”
Mr Khan is set to stand again as the Labour candidate for the mayoral seat in May but his performance has repeatedly attracted criticism, especially in regards to tackling the knife crime epidemic in London.
Latest statistics released last week from the Home Office have shown the rise of violent crime in the Capital falls in step with the increasing number of attacks carried out across the whole country.
In the first nine months of 2019, officers in England and Wales logged 35,354 serious offences where knives were used, a rise of almost four percent on the 34,109 logged during the same period in 2018.
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From January to September last year police recorded 179 knife killings – running at a rate of almost five every week.
A Home Office spokesman said: “We are making our communities safer by recruiting 20,000 extra police officers over the next three years, investing in violence reduction units as well as early intervention projects to steer young people away from knife crime.
“We are also changing the law so that police, councils and health authorities are legally required to work together to prevent and tackle serious violence.”
Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said: “Overall the numbers are extremely concerning. While there has been some reduction in murder and the crime survey shows a flat picture, violent crime is still too high.
“We are throwing everything we have got at this issue, recruiting 20,000 more officers and taking a smarter, more assertive approach to fighting crime. We all have to work together to win this fight and we won’t stop until we do.”
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