When London Mayor Sadiq Khan ran for office, he campaigned on a platform of making the city the safest in the world. One look at the spate of deaths the capital has witnessed in recent months shows he has palpably failed to achieve this. Khan has laid the blame squarely on Home Secretary Amber Rudd for budgetary cuts to the police force; Rudd has since hit back by reminding Khan that he heads London’s Metropolitan Police Service and his office is ultimately responsible for a large chunk of their funding.
The mayor’s critics also point to Khan’s policy of reducing stop and search tactics due to his belief that they unfairly target ethnic minorities and are “racist”. However, since the policy was pulled, knife crime has increased in the capital – and it is ultimately London’s black population that is paying the highest price.
The most recent deaths have prompted Khan to perform a U-turn and ramp up the Met’s stop and search powers to put an end to the violence. However, questions remain as to how far Khan’s initial stance on stop and search – alongside cuts to the police force – have contributed to the deaths of dozens of teenagers in the capital this year.