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Crime is an ill-understood problem

Most people think crime is on the rise. It isn't but, while crime in general is coming down, certain crimes are rising & these have a high profile.

The Mayor & Assembly will work in close co-operation with the Metropolitan Police to identify & target rising crimes.

Drugs policy. Pressure will be put on the government to revert to a prescription-based approach to drug addiction (that is, decriminalising but not legalising) to cut out the dealers and remove any glamour from drugs. Tobacco advertising in London will be banned.

No guns in Ken's London. The police will be encouraged in their duty to protect themselves, particularly against holders of illegal firearms. There will be another amnesty soon after the election. After that, it is fair for the police to assume any hand gun carrier is a murderer about to do the business.

No shotguns in Ken's London. Ken will pressure the government to change the law on shotguns to bring it in line with hand-gun law in the cities. Sawn-off shotguns are the weapon of choice of criminals but shot-gun law is distorted by the aristocrats recreational shooting demands. Believe it or not, a shotgun is not defined as a 'lethal weapon', which allows them into the hands of seven-year-olds (the age They send their kids to Prep School). There are very few farmers in Greater London & special arrangements could be made for them. All other shotguns would be banned if the government agrees. Purdys & other gun merchants would have to relocate to the sticks.

Stopping truancy & the problems it causes. Boroughs dump their Education budget problems on the police (i.e the Assembly budget). Ken won't allow this. The police will round up truants (who commit much crime), hand them back to the schools & charge the Education Authority for the service. The Education Authority can then charge the parents if they wish. This is a charged for service, not a fine.

The Lawrence Enquiry

Saturday 20th February - Whatever this comes up with next week, it is widely recognised that, whatever the problem is called, racism is a problem. The police represent the society they work in, even if it is assumed by some that their perception of that society is out-of-date. For Ken, anti-racism is not just a political principle: there is a personal aspect which he will not go into here. He will do everything he possible can to help the police confront and tackle the problem of racism wherever it is found.

It is not just a policing or police attitude problem. Racism feeds on economic problems and it is the Mayor's responsibility (as laid down in the Bill) to reduce these as far as it is within their power.

The report is published...and some of the police comment shows that they are in denial. They are going to need a lot of help to overcome their racism problems. The police say they reflect society but their perception of society seems a little out-of-date. And they are supposed to be better than 'society', not a mirror of it.

Saturday 16th October - There is a problem with the Met - the panel advising them on racial issues has resigned because of a lack of co-operation & obstructive attitudes. When will the Met ever learn? When I am Mayor. Persistently racist officers will be sacked but all who want to get their heads straightened out will be offered counselling.

Race. We undoubtedly have a problem here & the Lawrence Report is the Mayor's starting point for dealing with it. Anyone in the business would say that education is the place to start but the Mayor has no powers over the Education Authorities in the Greater London Area, at least at first. However, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police (& if Ken has his way, the City Police as well) will report to the Mayor, so at least a start can be made there.

Community relations. Thought will be given to splitting the Met into borough-based divisions reporting to borough Watch Committees & with locally-based recruitment, in order to connect the police better with their communities. Modern communications are so good that this will not inhibit the pursuit of London-wide crime, as the Metropolitan Commissioner will retain a co-ordinating function over the borough divisions & certain appropriate London-wide powers but subsidiarity will be the order of the day.

The Street Police. Ken will see if he can upgrade the Traffic Wardens to full Street Police, with powers to fine motorists on the spot & also litter louts, dog mess & graffiti artists. Rounding up beggars could be part of their task if the GLA agrees a by-law against vagrancy, although there will have to be safeguards to stop unreconstructed police officers using it as they used the old 'suss law'.

Links to the other Mayor pages:-
Tourism & Arts
Organisation chart
'Coming clean' (exposure of assets & liabilities)
Comment on the Greater London Authority Bill

Contact: Ken Baldry at 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY
+44(0)207 359 6294 or e-mail him

Last revised 16/10/99

Copyright: Ken Baldry 1998, 1999