Reducing burglary in London

MQT on 2015-10-21
Session date: 
October 21, 2015
Question By: 
Roger Evans
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


What steps are the Metropolitan Police Service taking to reduce burglary in London?


Answer for Reducing burglary in London

Answer for Reducing burglary in London

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Thanks, Roger.  Burglary is actually at its lowest level since 1974 and has come down by more than 25% since 2011/12 when we set the MOPAC 20% crime reduction target for neighbourhood offences.  That means there are 24,500 fewer burglaries per year, which is an incredible achievement.  Everybody who has experienced a burglary knows what a horrible crime it is.  It is a shattering experience to be burgled and it is great that we are driving it down.

On Tuesday, Steve Greenhalgh, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, and Helen King, Assistant Commissioner [MPS], handed out 60,000 free, smart water forensic marking kits as part of the Met Trace programme.  We are rolling out this smart water stuff - I do not know if we are allowed to call it ‘smart water’; that may be a trade name - and by the time we finish, one in seven London homes will have smart water products in it and will be a smart water property.

Roger Evans AM:  Very good.  The good news is that we have still 12 minutes to discuss burglary reduction, Mr Mayor.  I can tell there is enthusiasm from colleagues for this debate to continue.  Could you just reassure us, Mr Mayor, that you will not be following the urgings of Sara Thornton [Chair, National Police Chiefs’ Council], who is a very senior police officer nationally?

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  No.

Roger Evans AM:  She says that people who suffer burglaries may not have a visit from police officers.

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  I reject that entirely and, as you remember, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe [Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis] made it clear that one of the things that was distinctive about his role as Commissioner was that every Londoner who experienced a crime would have personal contact with a police officer.  “We will attend.  We will come to see you and we will attend the crime.”  That is the pledge.

Roger Evans AM:  OK, that sounds encouraging.  I do know there have been cases where constituents of mine have suffered burglaries and have had CCTV on their premises, as a surprising number of householders do these days, but the police are sometimes reluctant to actually take footage from the CCTV and use it as evidence, which seems bizarre to me.  Is that something that you could just send a signal to the MPS about?  It is important that we use all the evidence that is available and that we are seen to do it if people use security footage.

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  We certainly should.

Roger Evans AM:  Yes, thank you.