Sadiq Khan warns of potential rise in violence over cost of living crisis

Rising poverty levels ‘threaten to reverse progress’, says Labour mayor of London

Adam Forrest
Thursday 18 August 2022 07:36 BST
Sadiq Khan urges government to treat cost of living crisis as an emergency

London mayor Sadiq Khan has warned that the capital could see a further rise in violent crime over the deepening cost of living crisis.

The Labour mayor urged the Tory government to “do more” to address rising levels of poverty, as he warned that London could see an increase in stabbings and shootings.

“I am concerned about a potential increase in violence this summer, as the cost of living crisis deepens and threatens to reverse the progress we have made in tackling violent crime,” he told The Guardian.

Khan added: “Violence, like poverty, is not inevitable and the government must now do much more to show it shares my commitment to building a fairer, safer London for all.”

The mayor said an extra £2m was going into schemes to get young people out of gangs, with almost a quarter of homicides in London linked to gang violence.

Andy Cooke, the HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary, has previously warned that “the impact of poverty … does lead to an increase in crime”.

The government has said Britons must wait for the new prime minister to offer further help on living costs, as inflation reached a 40-year high of 10.1 per cent and heaped more pressure on families struggling with soaring bills and food prices.

New analysis from Citizens Advice on Wednesday shows one in four Britons (24 per cent) won’t be able to afford to pay their energy bills in October – pushing 13 million into debt.

The mayor’s remarks also come amid shock over the killing of an elderly man – stabbed to death while riding a mobility scooter – in the Greenford area of west London on Tuesday.

Khan wrote: “I’m devastated that an elderly man was killed in a horrific attack this evening.

“My thoughts are with the victim’s loved ones. I’m in close contact with Metropolitan Police who have an additional uniformed presence in the area.”

So far this year there have been 58 homicides in London. Tory minister Kit Malthouse told LBC on Wednesday that London “has been plagued by knife crime in the past and seems to be in the grip of it again.”

Cabinet Office minister, who worked with Boris Johnson when he was mayor, added: “I just hope the mayor takes this as seriously as we did … and leans in hard.”

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