Sadiq Khan has conceded that, under his now almost five-year-long mayoralty, the streets of London are “not safe” for women and girls.
Mayor Khan, who under the terms of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 fulfils the role of Police and Crime Commissioner in the British capital — excluding, somewhat confusingly for outsiders, the City of London, or Square Mile, which has its own police force — made the comments in an appearance on LBC radio.
“London’s streets are not safe for women, are they?” the presenter asked the Labour politician, following news that a serving Metropolitan Police officer has been arrested in connection with the disappearance and presumed murder of a 33-year-old marketing executive.
“No, they aren’t, or for girls,” admitted the mayor, who has been in post and responsible for law and order since May 2016 — his term extended after Coronavirus saw local elections postponed for a year.
Khan continued by saying that “it’s really important that people of my gender” — men, presumably — “understand that if you’re a woman or a girl your experiences of our city in any public space, whether its in the workplace, on the streets and public transport, is very different to if you’re a man or a boy, and it’s really important that people like me, in positions of power and influence, understand that, and takes steps to address them.”
Concerns about crime in London are nothing new, however, with Mayor Khan having been publicly heckled by a mother at an LBC-hosted event back in 2018, for example.
“You give me statistics Mr Khan, but for me as a parent, I’m telling you, we do not feel safe. We do not feel safe in London and we want you to do something about it!” she exclaimed, to cheers from the assembled crowd.
Some of the more gruesome crime trends in London in recent years have included the acid attack — Britain was hailed as a global capital for acid attacks, driven by incidents in Khan’s London. One shocking instance left a young woman celebrating her 21st birthday with life-changing injuries and put her male cousin in a coma.
The capital has also seen serious sexual crimes such as gang rape, including an attack by three men who held a machete to a 16-year-old schoolgirl’s throat in early 2020.
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