Mayor Boris Johnson has hailed the hard work of the Metropolitan Police Service and urged them to keep up the pressure on London’s criminals as new data shows that they’ve hit his target of reducing seven key neighbourhood crimes by 20% a year ahead of schedule.
The news comes at the same time as the results of an annual survey, commissioned by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), reveal that almost two-thirds (64%) of those Londoners questioned feel that policing has improved or remained the same since 2010, with 37% of BME respondents feeling it had ‘improved considerably or slightly’.
In 2013, as part of his Police and Crime Plan the London Mayor set the Metropolitan Police Service the challenge to reduce seven key neighbourhood crimes by 20% by 2016. The new data shows that the Met has in fact cut these crimes by 19.8% since 2012, with over 80,000 fewer crimes committed on the capital’s streets as a result. The Met is now on track to exceed the target set by the Mayor over the next year.
Of the seven key neighbourhood crimes, robbery from a person and burglary have seen the biggest fall – down 23% and 44% respectively – with burglary at its lowest level since 1979.
Waltham Forest, Brent, Harrow and Hounslow have seen neighbourhood crimes fall by over a quarter, while burglary fell by over a third in areas such as Hammersmith and Fulham, Brent and Lewisham.
Only one of the seven crime types – Violence with Injury – has seen an increase, rising by 13% since 2012. With crime falling faster in London than anywhere else in the country, this rise has been attributed to better recording, particularly around domestic violence, and a slight rise in recorded street level violence in some town centres.
Concerned by the increase, the Mayor and the Met have responded by focusing more resources on known hotspots and cracking down on licensed premises continuing to flout the law on under age and excessive drinking.
Strength of the Met reaches three-year high
Since the Mayor’s Police and Crime Plan was introduced, over 2,600 officers have been moved from back office to front line duties. Last week, the strength of the Met force reached a three-year high at just under 32,000, with more BME and female officers.
The MOPAC Police and Crime Survey compiled by TNS has looked at attitudes to policing and crime in the capital. Alongside a high level of satisfaction with police performance it also finds that Londoners are now less concerned than they were in 2013 about burglary, violent crime and anti-social behaviour, with concern about burglary falling from 40% to 31%, violent crime from 11% to 8% and concern about anti-social behaviour from 28% to 20%.
When asked what would make them feel safer, the majority of those questioned said more police on the streets (42%), action on anti-social behaviour (23%) and better use of CCTV (11%).
Driving down crime on London’s transport network is a priority for the Mayor and the Met, with crime on the capital’s bus network now at its lowest level. In January this year, the Mayor launched the Roads Transport Police Command (RTPC), the UK’s single largest police command with more than 2,300 police and Police Community Support Officers working across London to further improve the safety and security of the capital’s roads and bus network and ensure that this downward trend continues.
Setting of robust targets
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “London’s neighbourhoods are now safer than ever before thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Metropolitan Police Service. This has been no easy task but, by setting robust targets and raising money from surplus building stock, we’ve placed record numbers of police officers onto the streets to fight crime. Our job now is to keep this pressure up, to bear down on all types of crime and make London the safest big city in the world.”
Stephen Greenhalgh, the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, added: “The Mayor set an unashamedly ambitious challenge for the Met to radically reduce victim-based neighbourhood crime by 20% in four years and the force is set to deliver this reduction a full year ahead of schedule. Hitting the target is good news and is helping to increase confidence in police performance, but we cannot take for granted that it will continue. Our challenge now to the Met and its partner agencies is to keep up the hard work and ensure that Londoners continue to feel safer and more confident in our capital city.”