Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, April 06, 2018

Crime wave in London

In a unitary regime, street crime becomes a national issue.

'McMafia gangs' behind London crime wave - David Lammy
Tottenham MP Lammy
Drug gangs controlled by Eastern European criminals are fuelling the rising tide of violent crime in London, a Labour MP has claimed.

Tottenham MP David Lammy said drugs were as "prolific as ordering a pizza", comparing the situation to McMafia, a BBC drama about Russian gangsters.

The MP said political leaders were doing nothing about it.

The Metropolitan Police is now investigating more than 50 suspected murders this year.

Police patrols have been stepped up and officers are using stop-and-search powers to seize weapons after the increase in violence.

Mr Lammy said violent crime in his part of London, where there have been four murders, was the worst he had seen in 18 years as an MP.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme there was "no single cause" for it but "turf wars" between drug gangs was a major factor.

"What drives the gangs and the turf wars is an £11bn cocaine drugs market," he said.

"We are the drugs market of Europe and I'm hearing nothing about what we're going to do about that rising drugs market…

He said the police and Border Force did not have the resources they needed to tackle the gangs - but the issue was being ignored by politicians and not being debated in Parliament…

In a BBC London interview, Sadiq Khan [London Mayor] denied suggestions he had not shown enough leadership this week… he did not accept Mr Lammy's claim that the police had "lost control" of crime in London: "What I do accept is there is a crime issue across the country. There's been an increase since 2014.

"It's a national problem… You can't cut 40% from the Met Police, 46% from youth provisions in London and not expect to see consequences."… [And who is the government these days that is cutting the Metropolitan Police budget?]

As London overtakes New York murder rate, social media influence on youth raises concerns

Social media sites have now become an important part of most people’s lives, almost to the point of addiction for some, but they have also become dangerous in that they are driving children to commit violence and murders “within minutes”.

Britain’s senior-most police officer Cressida Dick has warned that trivial arguments between youths are escalating into stabbings and murder at an unprecedented rate thanks to social media.

“The goading of rivals on online message boards and video sites revs people up and normalizes violence” said Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner. The first female head of the Metropolitan Police, Dick has made the tackling of violent crime central to her work since she took up the position last year...

She claimed that gangs who “posture on social media”, including rap videos in which they goad rival and glamourize violence, make violence faster and “made it harder for people to cool down”...

Dick’s comments come at the same time as data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that fatal stabbings in England and Wales are at their highest since 2010-11. There were 215 homicides involving a knife or other sharp in the year to March.

For the first time in its history London’s murder rate has overtaken that of New York City in the months of February and March 2018...

Despite all this, a Scotland Yard spokesman reassured people by claiming that “London remains one of the safest cities in the world”.

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