Reducing violence in London (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
September 17, 2014
Question By: 
Joanne McCartney
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Mr Mayor, you may recall that in June I asked you about the rise in violent crime in particular outer London boroughs.  You said that you had noticed an increase and that you had asked questions and the MPS had told you it was about domestic violence and an increase in reporting. 

Actually, we have done some further work on this.  If you look at the five highest boroughs, for example, Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Enfield, Haringey and Hillingdon ‑‑ 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  This is violence with injury, yes? 

Joanne McCartney AM:  Yes, there have been significant rises in violent crime.  You would be interested in Hillingdon, for example, where violent crime has risen by 23% over the last year.  In my own borough, Haringey, there has been a 23% increase too and in Enfield a 20% increase.  Going to my local community safety partnership, they told me it was not an increase in domestic violence.  It is actually an increase in ‑‑ 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  No, it is both.  Sorry.  I should say we are talking about violence with injury, yes. 

Joanne McCartney AM:  Yes.  It is about certainly increased reporting, but actually over half appears to be about an increase in violence itself.  When I asked you in June, you said you were not complacent.  When I asked you to look into this again, you said you would.  Did you look into it again?

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Reducing violence in London (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for Reducing violence in London (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Yes.  I can tell you what we think the issue is.  Sorry, Caroline [Pidgeon] was asking about violent crime.  There are lots of different categories. 

Violence with injury is certainly a concern.  The issue there is twofold.  First, there is an increase in domestic violence with injury.  We have talked about that and that is obviously something that we want to get to the bottom of.  In some cases, it may be that greater reporting is a sign of greater confidence.  We know those arguments. 

However, for non-domestic violence with injury (VWI), there is a concern that it may be to do with drunkenness in town centres.  That seems to be one of the suggestions and there are particular areas or particular hotspots which are contributing very considerably to the pan-London figures.  I will not mention the areas now, but what we are looking at is trying to deal with that kind of rowdiness and ways of actually addressing the issues on the spot. 

Joanne McCartney AM:  OK.  I can tell you in my boroughs, Enfield and Haringey, it is not down to the nightlife because we do not really have that much.  There must be something else at work.  We do not have great clubs and we do not have drinking in the early hours at set venues.  There is something else. 

When I asked you this in June, you said you had asked the question and the MPS had told you it was all down to domestic violence reporting and you had accepted that.  You have then said you would look at it again ‑‑ 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  No, I have given you the answer. 

Joanne McCartney AM:  The thing is, to keep coming back and saying, “It has been suggested”, or, “We think”, is actually not good enough.  There needs to be some ‑‑ 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  That is what I am telling you. 

Joanne McCartney AM:  ‑‑ firm things.  I can tell you it is not about nightlife in my constituency where it has gone over 20%. 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  You do not have any nightlife; all right. 

Joanne McCartney AM:  The local police tell me it is not down to nightlife.  There is something else going on.  I am going to ask you again.  Just take the issue away and if you could write to me?  Particularly in outer London there seems to be a big issue. 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  We have done some analysis and I just want to repeat that that seems to be the issue.  Just to repeat the general point that I made to Caroline [Pidgeon], this is in the context of a general reduction in crimes of all types but this particular crime type seems to be to do with a culture of rowdiness and violence associated with some town centres.  Maybe that is not true in Enfield and Haringey.  Maybe you do not ‑‑ 

Joanne McCartney AM:  We think it is a gang problem. 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  You are rather doing your neighbourhood down.  It is lovely and full of excitement. 

Joanne McCartney AM:  No, we think it is a gang issue, Mr Mayor, and it is a resurgence in gangs.  We have put it down to a lack of police on the streets. 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  That is certainly not what has been put to me.