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September 16, 2019

PM ‘accepts’ govt cuts contributed to violent crime rise, says Sadiq

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P
Pa
September 16, 2019

LONDON: Prime Minister Boris Johnson “accepts” that government cuts have contributed to the rise in knife crime, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said.

Khan claimed that former prime ministers had resisted taking responsibility for the rise in violence, but Johnson, and new Home Secretary Priti Patel, have “woken up” to the issues. Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Khan said: “The good news is that this Prime Minister and this Home Secretary finally accept there is a link between massive cuts and an increase in violent crime.

“There is a link between deprivation, inequality, some exclusions as well, poor mental health and the increase in violent crime.” He added: “It’s accepted now by the government that the cuts in police numbers” are having an affect on crime levels.

Comparing the current prime minister to his predecessors, former Labour MP Khan said: “What I had for the last three years was a government saying ‘it’s not our problem, it’s your fault’, and I’ve got to say, this Home Secretary, this Prime Minister have finally woken up to what we’ve been saying. “The former two prime ministers, David Cameron and Theresa May, refused to accept cuts have consequences. Priti Patel is my fourth Home Secretary. I’ve already met her, she understands the importance of investing in police.”

More than 100 murder investigations have been launched in London so far this year. On Saturday, a 29-year-old man died after being found with stab wounds in Edmonton, north London. The death came less than 24 hours after a 34-year-old man died in hospital on Saturday after suffering stab wounds during an incident at a chicken shop in Lewisham.

Last month, Khan pleaded with the government to get new police officers on to London’s streets “much much quicker” to help tackle violence. Speaking at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the mayor said: “We’ve got fewer police officers now than any time since 2003, while the population has risen by two million... Our police work so hard. They are under-resourced and over-stretched...”

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