Making London Safer

Keeping Londoners safe has been – and will continue to be – my top priority as Mayor. 

Thanks to our approach, despite our population rising by more than a million people, we have seen a reduction in homicides, gun crime, burglary and the number of young people being injured with knives in London since 2016. But it’s clear that, across the country and in London, the levels of crime remain far too high.

The truth is, we are being held back by the Tory government. The national cuts since 2010 have been a disaster for combatting crime across the country, particularly youth violence. The Tories have cut £1bn from the Met police and £1bn a year from youth services nationally in real terms since 2010, which has had a devastating impact on the vital support needed to keep communities safe. Cuts at this scale have serious consequences.

As Mayor, I’ve stepped in to fill the financial gaps left by the government as much as possible, investing record amounts from City Hall to support our police. This includes investing an additional £151m in policing and crime reduction this year alone. Overall, I have doubled the funding that goes to the police from City Hall compared to the previous Mayor.

I’m determined to continue leading from the front by being both tough on crime and tough on the complex causes of crime, and look forward to the chance of working with a Labour government, led by Keir Starmer, that will put in place a proper longterm plan to improve police and youth services to help us build a safer London for everyone.

Key Pledges

Tough on crime

As Mayor, I will continue to invest in policing, and ensure the police in London have the resources they need. 

Since 2016, I’ve doubled the annual investment in the police from City Hall compared to the previous Mayor. This has put 1,300 more police officers on the streets. But we need more police officers in London to help us bear down on crime further. That’s why I have committed to putting an extra 500 neighbourhood Police Community Support Officers (PSCOs) on the streets across London, to help us reduce antisocial behaviour, catch criminals and take weapons off our streets. With a Labour government that will reform procurement and shared services, we’ll deliver up to 1,300 more officers, PCSOs & Special Constables in local neighbourhoods across London. We’ll also work with Labour to reduce knife crime and reduce violence against women and girls. The last Labour government reduced crime by a third and violent crime came down by 40% across the country. This demonstrates the difference that can be made with a Labour Mayor and a Labour government working hand-in-hand. 

I have committed £2.5m of investment from City Hall to help bring about a dramatic improvement in the Met’s response to 999 calls. I’ll continue to ensure the Met is able to effectively respond to the public, including maintaining a 24-hour police front office counter in every borough. 

We now have more than 77,000 CCTV cameras on the public transport network in London. I will further boost the police’s ability to identify criminals by expanding CCTV coverage, ensuring we have finalised plans for CCTV on the Bakerloo Line, the last line to have cameras on trains, alongside increased CCTV on bus shelters and in black taxis, private hire vehicles and minicabs. I’ll work with the Met police and boroughs to ensure that an upgrade of the fibre network in London will make CCTV more of an effective tool for catching criminals.

I’m determined to continue leading from the front by being both tough on crime and tough on the complex causes of crime.

I will make funding available for more equipment for police officers out on patrol, and for additional knife wands in schools and elsewhere when needed. I’ll also continue to support and hold the Met police to account in decreasing the number of weapons on our streets, and in working to proactively pursue and disrupt the highest harm criminal gangs in London. I’ll do more to ensure that local authorities and other services working with young people are able to partner effectively with the Met, and protect those most at risk from the impacts of criminal gangs.

I’ll support the police in taking tougher action against perpetrators of burglary, theft and robberies, including focused operations across robbery hotspot areas, using police vehicles and technology to respond to incidents and to target offenders who use e-scooters and mopeds to commit offences, as well as identifying and pursuing the 100 top repeat robbery offenders in London.

If re-elected, I’ll continue to work closely with the specialist Business Crime team in the Met police and partners to crack down on crimes including shoplifting, which has increased across the country during the cost-of-living crisis. I will also ensure the police continue working with small business representatives and trade unions to stamp out unacceptable violence against shopworkers and frontline workers.

I’ll also work with phone companies and vehicle manufacturers to do more to design out theft and robbery. If these industries don’t move fast enough voluntarily, then we will work with a future Labour government to intervene and help us crack down on theft and robbery in London.

Tough on the causes of crime

I will always be tough on crime and support the police to bear down on criminals. But we know we will never be able to simply arrest our way out of the problem, particularly with youth violence, because the causes of violent crime are extremely complex. They involve deep-seated issues, including poverty, inequality and a lack of opportunities for young people, all of which have been made far worse by more than a decade of Tory austerity and the decimation of youth services across the country. 

That’s why I will continue to be tough on the complex causes of crime, building on our groundbreaking work in this area. Since 2016, I’ve been working to fill the gaps left by government cuts – investing millions in creating positive opportunities for young Londoners through our Young Londoners Fund and New Deal for Young People, funding activities for children during the school holidays, and establishing England’s first Violence Reduction Unit, which has been leading a public health approach to tackling violence, rooted in prevention and early intervention. 

Our funding so far has helped create more than 500,000 positive opportunities for young Londoners, providing additional youth workers and mentors alongside more support for families and local communities, and delivering programmes inside and outside school hours to divert vulnerable young people away from criminal gangs and crime, and towards training and employment. All of this work has contributed to a fall in homicides, gun crime and the number of young people being injured with knives in London since 2016. However, it’s clear that violent crime – though lower than the England and Wales average – remains far too high, and there’s much more to do. 

I’m determined to continue leading from the front by doing more to tackle the complex causes of crime. That’s why I commit to investing in more youth clubs and providing investment to fund 250,000 more positive opportunities for young Londoners. This will include access to quality mentoring, alongside investment in more youth workers with a particular focus on schools, pupil referral units, custody centres and major A&Es. Because we know that young people are safer in school, I will continue to champion London’s Inclusion Charter to support keeping young people in school.

I commit to investing in more youth clubs and providing investment to fund 250,000 more positive opportunities for young Londoners.

I’ll also continue to work closely with families affected by violence, and to pioneer local solutions. My Violence Reduction Unit’s groundbreaking ‘MyEnds’ programme is helping fund local community leaders and groups in taking action to support young Londoners and prevent violent crime in their neighbourhoods. I will expand this approach, with a focus on those areas most affected by violence in London. We know that the best way to reduce violence in the long term is to promote community involvement, and put local people, including young Londoners, at the heart of designing community-led prevention projects. 

I will also take more action to prevent robberies by young Londoners, which often take place during the hours after school. This will include funding new opportunities through sport and the arts, investing in afterschool activities, and helping young Londoners get jobs and work experience during the school holidays. We will also continue supporting children and young adults who are being exploited, helping them to leave gangs and take a better path in life. 

Drugs are a major driver of crime and I’ll continue to support the Met to take tough enforcement action, alongside a community-focused approach that reduces the harm to drug users while disrupting supply chains for drugs and diverting young people away from both using and selling drugs. I’ll also continue to work with the Met and communities to roll out the ‘clear, hold, build’ approach, where the police pursue gang members and then maintain a presence in the area to prevent other criminal groups from taking control. We will also work with communities to help an area become less susceptible to organised crime groups. I’ll also continue to work with the Met to boost neighbourhood policing and help them crack down on the scourge of Antisocial Behaviour (ASB). In addition to the 500 additional PCSOs I’m funding from City Hall, there is now a Borough Superintendent in every London local authority, helping ward level officers to work closely with communities and tackle ASB and neighbourhood crime.

Reducing violence against women and girls

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) across our country is still too common – whether it’s harassment, abuse, sexual assault, rape or domestic violence. 

In the UK, a violent man kills a woman every three days. It’s simply not right that women and girls routinely live in fear. As Mayor, the safety of women in London has been a top priority for me. Action has included record investment in programmes to support the victims of violence, to target perpetrators and remove the threat of dangerous individuals in our communities, and to tackle the misogynistic attitudes that allow certain crimes to continue. 

Our innovative work in London has included pioneering Project Bluestone, which led to a national change in the way rape is investigated and prosecuted – if re-elected, I will work with partners to take a similar approach, changing the way domestic abuse is investigated and prosecuted too. We developed an anti- VAWG toolkit for schools. We delivered the groundbreaking ‘Have a Word’ behaviour change campaign to help tackle the toxic attitudes displayed by some men. We appointed London’s first victims’ commissioner. And, during the pandemic, we set up safe emergency accommodation for victims of domestic abuse, encouraging the government to do the same. 

But I want every woman and girl to be safe, and to feel safe – whatever time of day, whatever they are wearing and wherever they are in the capital. Sadly, we are still far from this goal in our country and in London, so I pledge to redouble our efforts. I will: 

  • Continue to work with the Met Commissioner to reform policing, so that women have confidence that the right people are working in a reformed Met police, as well as ensuring those officers are equipped and ready to crack down on perpetrators of violence against women and girls 
  • Invest in work to support victims and victim support organisations while also investing in efforts to stop perpetrators from reoffending 
  • Build on London’s groundbreaking work in tagging domestic abuse offenders, and expanding it to tagging those convicted of non-domestic abuse-related stalking offences 
  • Work with the Met to drive up detection and conviction rates on domestic abuse, rape and stalking 
  • Continue working with the Met and partners to improve the safety of women in public spaces, including driving even more organisations to sign up to the Women’s Night Safety Charter 
  • Continue to support London’s Victims’ Commissioner – a role that I’m proud to have created – in the crucial work of standing up for London’s victims of crime
  • Develop a new VAWG criminal justice partnership initiative, bringing together the Met Police and the CPS to improve case file quality in order to radically improve the speed and success of bringing perpetrators to justice
  • Pilot free legal advice for victims and survivors of sexual abuse 
  • Fund new longer-term homes for survivors of domestic abuse to give those fleeing violence a place to stay
  • Build on our pioneering work to tackle misogyny with a renewed focus on schools, including a new initiative to develop a generation of young leaders who are empowered to stand up and speak out, instead of being bystanders

Reforming the police and ensuring trust and confidence in our emergency services

As Mayor, I’ve been determined to shine a spotlight on the true extent of the performance and cultural problems within the Met. This pressure resulted in Baroness Casey’s review, which found the Met to be institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic.

I have ensured the Met is now on a path of far-reaching reform, with new leadership committed to change. We are starting to see progress – those who are not fit to wear a police uniform are being dealt with robustly, there are stricter checks on becoming a police officer, there is greater support for victims of crime, and a real focus on neighbourhood policing. However, it’s clear there’s still much more to do to clean up the force, rebuild public trust and confidence and ensure police officers understand and respond to the needs and concerns of London’s communities, particularly those who have been let down for far too long. 

We are rightly proud of our system of policing by consent: the public entrust police officers with powers – including powers to use force or deprive someone of their liberty – to help keep us safe. Trust and confidence are therefore essential to the police’s ability to do their job. Whilst trust and confidence has stabilised, it is still too low, and we know that it is significantly lower amongst women, black and ethnic minority Londoners, the LGBTQI+ community and those with a disability.

I have ensured the Met is now on a path of far-reaching reform, with newleadership committed to change.

The Met has now published its reform plan, A New Met For London. Londoners will rightly judge this plan on actions not words, and I will be unflinching both in supporting the Met and the Commissioner, and in holding them to account to deliver on the commitments they have set out. I will support and challenge the Met to make lasting change to its culture, improve the service it provides to Londoners and improve its relationship with all communities. 

I’m impatient for change and the clock is ticking. I have established the first-ever London Policing Board, which includes experts from a diverse range of backgrounds, to help support and hold the police to account in a public forum. I’ll ensure this policing board can carry on its vital work. I will deliver on the recommendation in Baroness Casey’s report to commission independent progress reviews into the Met. I’ll also work with communities to build a new model for police scrutiny, with the aim of making it easier and simpler for Londoners to scrutinise the work of the police and influence change. 

I see police reform as a critical part of my Mayoralty, and I will not be satisfied until Londoners have the police service they deserve – one that is trusted, puts communities first, is representative of London and delivers the highest possible service to every community in our city. London cannot afford to go backwards with a Tory Mayor who has opposed every effort I have made to reform the Met since 2016. 

It’s essential that Londoners have trust and confidence in all our frontline workers, who are there to keep us safe. That’s why I’ll also ensure the London Fire Brigade (LFB) continues to take action to transform its culture, implements a zero-tolerance approach to racism, sexism and homophobia, and better reflects the communities it serves.

Ensuring London is prepared for the challenges of the future

As a busy global city, London faces a range of unique threats – from terrorist attacks to extreme weather as a result of the climate crisis. I will continue to work closely with the police, the LFB, other emergency services, security partners, businesses, boroughs and communities to tackle these threats. 

I will also commission work on how the terror threat continues to change and evolve, to ensure we can be as prepared as possible. And I will provide funding to London’s boroughs to empower communities to better prepare, respond and recover from emergencies. 

Through the Shared Endeavour Fund, we will continue to invest in community projects that help tackle hate, counter violent extremism and build understanding, tolerance and community cohesion. In particular, we will work to bear down on both antisemitism and Islamophobia, which have tragically flared up following the conflict in the Middle East. 

I will do everything in my power to campaign for justice for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire and to prevent another tragedy like this from ever happening again. The LFB has implemented all the recommendations coming out of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry (GTI) Phase 1. I will ensure the LFB responds in full to the recommendations coming out of GTI Phase 2, and lobby the government to do the same. I will also ensure there are no cuts to the LFB frontline and no fire station closures. 

I will lobby for better government regulation of lithium-ion battery powered e-bikes and e-scooters. Good quality e-bikes and TfLlicensed e-scooters can be a great option for people to move around our city, but we need better regulation to prevent poor quality products, which carry significant fire risk and have already led to devastating deaths and injuries, from being sold.

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