In the face of a government failure, Londoners are supposed to be reassures by promises to throw more money around.
Facing an embarrassing rise in violent crime in London, Mayor Sadiq Khan promises a whole bunch of new spending only some of which seems related to preventing crime.
A Memo from his office is out: “Here’s what the Mayor is doing to tackle violent crime.”
The Mayor is determined to ensure criminals are caught and punished – but he’s also investing millions in tackling the complex root causes of violent crime to help prevent future deaths.
Here’s what the Mayor is doing:
What follows is organized under five headings:
Boosting police power
Preventing future violence
Tackling gang violence
Action plans under way
City Hall summit
The last one is obviously the silliest. Politicians are going to talk to one another and share ideas. What need is there for this public ritual except to engineer a consensus through the media? Politicians can talk to each other on the phone if they have ideas to share.
The most promising stuff is listed under “Boosting Police Power,” but even here sometimes we don’t know how this is supposed to reduce crime.
The Mayor is protecting the number of frontline police officers on London’s streets by investing £110m in the Met Police.
It is not clear how this money is going to be used that will protect these officers. If it is not clear how it is supposed to be spent, how can the amount mean anything about reducing crime? This BBC interview didn’t reassure me:
Under “Preventing future violence,” things get even sillier. Consider these two points:
The widely shared London Needs You Alive campaign brings together role models and youth influencers to send a positive message to young people – that they shouldn’t put their lives at risk by carrying a knife
The Mayor’s granted £7 million to projects to combat youth violence across London and £250,000 to community groups and grassroots initiatives
First of all, since when is the government supposed to raise children to not be violent criminals? And what kind of message is communicated to ask teens, “Please don’t attack other people with knives”?
If it’s really that bad maybe the government needs to at least figure out why families are so much more prone to raise violent criminals than they used to be.
But also, the Mayor isn’t just funding propaganda against knife violence. He is propagandizing against carrying a knife.
No excuses: there is never a reason to carry a knife. Anyone who does will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law. https://t.co/XILUvIFLOW
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) April 8, 2018
No reason to carry a knife? The mayor admits that the city is in a crisis from knife crime! Who would walk around in such a city unarmed? Guns are illegal so knives are the best we can do.
Furthermore, I’ve seen some of the propaganda aimed at U.K. Youth. Invariably some young adult counselor interviews a youth about why he carries a knife and why he shouldn’t. The kid shows the camera his weapon pulling out a Bowie knife that’s about three miles long.
If that doesn’t inspire you to arm yourself if you have to go to London and walk the streets, then you’ve lost your mind.
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