Joel Davidson is a former councillor in Brent and London Assembly candidate in 2016. Amir Sadjady is a Conservative activist in Hammersmith.
As family men, small business owners and born and bred Londoners we are appalled and saddened at the recent spate of knife crime in our city. The crime wave has gone on for far too long, terrorising innocent bystanders across our great city, and as Conservatives we must take our share of responsibility, whilst offering concrete policies to reassure Londoners, and the millions of visitors who are becoming scared to come to the capital.
It is no longer good enough to put the blame on Sadiq Khan. Yes, he is useless, and Boris Johnson would have taken a far more proactive approach were he still occupying City Hall. But by tinkering around the edges and even blaming social media for the spate of violent thugs roaming our streets, the Conservatives are missing the wood for the trees.
There is no doubt that the streets of London feel less safe in recent years because there are fewer police patrolling them; and furthermore, the powers of the police that do exist appear to be limited and stymied by political correctness and an unwillingness to go after low level crime, which breeds the murderous environment currently being experienced across London. Low level crime, which disproportionately affects low income Londoners and small businesses, is barely responded to by the Met, and this simply must change.
For this, the Government must accept responsibility, and take concrete action to restore our party as the party of law and order in the mind of voters.
It is high time that we stop meekly accepting Donald Trump’s taunts about our city, and instead champion the ‘broken windows’ theory of policing started under Rudy Giuliani which transformed New York City.
It is highly regrettable that over the last few years we have ceded this core Conservative principle, that a vote for the Conservatives is a vote to keep the streets safe, as it appeals to every member of society, from every possible background.
We therefore call on Sajid Javid, our excellent new Home Secretary, to bypass the useless Mayor and impose as many police officers as it takes in the short term to restore law and order in our capital city, at least so that Londoners can feel as safe as they did under Boris.
We propose that he demands the following measures:
- A three month emergency programme in London to reduce the harrowing murder rate, using whatever funding is necessary.
- Cross-party parliamentary legislation to increase the minimum sentence for carrying a knife from two years to 10 years, with no exceptions.
- Similar legislation to impose five year sentences on anyone caught carrying acid with intent to wound.
- Armed patrols to be deployed in areas of gun crime throughout this emergency three month period
- If no progress is made after three months, then the Home Office will take back policing powers from the Mayor of London
Our creditable performance in last week’s local elections was a sign that all is not lost for London Conservatives, and that hundreds of thousands of Londoners reject the apathy towards law and order exhibited by Jeremy Corbyn and Mayor Khan.
We must not let these voters down now by allowing this awful crime wave to continue.