Shaun Bailey is seeking the nomination to be the Conservative candidate for Mayor of London. He is a member of the London Assembly.
It will come as little surprise that I believe that London is the greatest city on Earth. It is the most vibrant city economy in the world and the global epicentre of culture and arts.
But I have also experienced the rougher side of living in this great city. Growing up to a single mother in a poor area and being a community worker for over 20 years, I have first-hand experience of this side of London.
Londoners from all backgrounds have various concerns. They want to move around and get to work in safe and reliable ways. They want to be able to access the opportunities London has to offer, regardless of their background. They also want to live in a city where residents, especially young Londoners, have a safe roof over their heads and a place to call home.
Perhaps above all else, those who live in the Capital want to feel safe when they walk the streets. On this measure, Sadiq Khan has completely failed.
The most recent crime statistics make this abundantly clear. Knife crime has increased by 49 per cent since Khan became Mayor. Not only this, murder is up 41 per cent and over 100 murders are being investigated in this year alone. Murder has increased by so much on Khan’s watch that in March, the murder rate in London was worse than that of New York.
Sadiq Khan has clearly lost control of the streets, and Londoners are rightly worried.
As Mayor, my number one priority will be to make sure that it is criminals that feel under pressure, not communities. I recently published a plan in the Evening Standard that outlined how I would put an extra thousand police officers back on the streets.
I would achieve this in two ways. First, by cutting bureaucracy and waste in Khan’s City Hall. Secondly, I would introduce new technologies, like Artificial Intelligence, to improve police efficiency to take police from behind desks and put them back on the streets. Combined, these initiatives would deliver to the Metropolitan Police one thousand extra bobbies on the beat.
I know from my personal experience the devastating effects of crime on communities. Growing up in Ladbroke Grove, near Grenfell Tower, I know the struggles that those in poorer communities go through. That is why it is so important to make sure that people feel safe, and I have a plan to do just this.
So far in my bid to become the Conservative mayoral candidate, I am excited that over 100 of our experienced and hardworking London councillors have backed my plans.
On top of this, I have also received endorsements from four out of the five Police and Crime Commissioners that oversee the police forces in the regions that border London, each of whom has specifically endorsed my plans for combating crime.
I know that, with the right leadership, we can crack down on crime and make London safe once again. I believe that I am the right person to deliver a safer London. I hope I have the opportunity to do so and put my plan into action