letter to editor: response to Shaun Bailey
Barnet Times readers are understandably concerned about the tragic rise in violent crime in our city and the UK. But they should know the truth – about why it has risen, and how the problem can be solved.
Since 2010, the Government has cut police funding in London to the bone. Cuts have consequences and the truth is you can’t keep our streets safe on the cheap. Simultaneously, Government cuts have decimated the services that tackle the root causes of crime. While it is welcome that the Government has finally committed to reversing some of their damaging police cuts, failing to reverse cuts to youth clubs, schools and local services will mean that the problem will continue.
The Conservative candidate for Mayor, Shaun Bailey, was quick to try to shift the blame. But he conveniently failed to mention the crucial role he played in implementing the Government’s cuts when he was a Youth and Crime adviser in Downing Street. His so-called ‘plan’ for keeping London safe would mean cutting the services that keep young people from turning to crime. This, along with his shocking view that increasing police officer numbers is “absolutely useless” at deterring crime, shows that he’s not fit to keep Londoners safe.
In contrast, Sadiq Khan is showing leadership by doing all he can to tackle both violent crime and its causes. Despite huge Government cuts, he is funding a new Violent Crime Taskforce, with 300 officers focusing on the areas worst hit by crime. He has launched England’s first Violence Reduction Unit, tackling crime’s root causes. And he’s investing in young Londoners through his £45 million Young Londoners Fund.
It’s clear that Sadiq Khan has the right priorities – and values – to tackle violent crime in our city, and to deliver the change we need.
Andrew Dismore AM
London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden
The Queen’s Walk
Tel: 020 7983 5529