Thousands more officers needed to cut crime, says mayoral candidate Rory Stewart

Thousands more officers needed to cut crime, says mayoral candidate Rory Stewart

London mayoral candidate Rory Stewart today called for “thousands more” police on the streets after meeting families of knife crime victims.

The former Tory Cabinet minister, who is running for City Hall as an independent, called the violent crime epidemic a “disgrace”.

There were 149 homicides in the capital last year, the highest figure for 11 years, and Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan has faced questions about whether he can keep London safe.

Mr Stewart, writing in today’s Standard, revealed he met the mother of Jude Gayle, 30, who was killed in 2017 in West Norwood as he bought a lollipop for his daughter. On a tour of Lambeth, he also met a mother who lost her son, 24, and a teenager who lost two brothers to knife killings.

Mr Stewart, who has vowed to resign as mayor if he fails to cut knife crime, said: “We must put thousands more officers on the streets in community and response roles, patrolling neighbourhoods.”

Speaking to the Standard’s The Leader podcast, Mr Stewart called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to “deliver on the promise that you made to deliver 6,600 more police officers to the Met... We want them now.”

The Met currently has 31,079 officers. Mr Khan and Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick are in negotiations with the Government to increase this to 37,000.

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