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Shadow Minister for Home Affairs David Ruffley looks at the level of crime in London and calls for more local direction over police efforts to tackle it.

Motion: That this House supports the dedication of police officers in the City of London Police, the Metropolitan Police Service and the British Transport Police but notes the unacceptable trend in teenage murders in London, including the shocking figure of 27 murdered in 2007; believes that Londoners’ daily experience of crime, particularly lower level crime and anti-social behaviour, is now far removed from some official statistics; is deeply concerned that violent crime in London as measured by the British Crime Survey is the highest of all the regions in England and Wales and that fear of crime in London is now also the highest of all the regions in England and Wales; further notes the link between gun crime and drugs; further believes that local communities should be given greater freedom to direct the efforts of their police force if streets are to be made safer; and condemns the current Mayor of London for his complacent attitude to these serious crime issues.

"London is the greatest city on earth. It is protected by the dedicated officers of the Metropolitan Police Service, the City of London police and the British Transport police, whom I have had the privilege of visiting during most of today. But it is also the city where the British Home Secretary, on her own admission, does not feel safe walking alone at night, and it is the city where 27 teenagers were murdered by other teenagers in 2007. Last month, a Labour Back Bencher, the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Emily Thornberry), said “I suspect that hardly any children in Islington have not been mugged at some stage.” 

London is the city where more teenagers are being mugged each year. The Metropolitan Police Service figures—not the Home Office departmental figures—show that the number of 11-to-22-year-olds reported to have been mugged in London rose from 19,276 in 2004-05 to 24,701 in 2006-07, an increase of 28 per cent. In Lewisham alone, 454 more muggings were recorded over the same period, an increase of 88.5 per cent. The Minister should note that those are Metropolitan Police Service figures.

According to the British crime survey, London has the highest level of violent crime among all the regions in England and Wales, and also the highest level of fear of crime. Londoners are twice as likely to be robbed as people in New York city. Violent crime has increased over eight years, according to official measurements of total violent crime and to measurements of violence against the person. The respective increases have been 15.3 per cent. and over 15 per cent. Those are the Mayor’s own figures. Robbery has increased by just under 20 per cent. in eight years. In 2007-08 there were more than 37,000 incidents of robbery in London. Those too are the Mayor’s own figures. The number of sexual offences was greater in 2007 than in 1999-2000, according to Metropolitan Police Service figures."

More from Hansard here.

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