Assembly Member Leonie Cooper Addresses Criticisms Made by Steve O’Connell AM

On the Mayor’s and the Met’s approach to tackling violent crime

Leonie Cooper - Assembly member for Wandsworth & Merton

Dear Editor,

I completely agree that we must do everything we can to combat violent crime on our streets. However, I take issue with criticism of the Mayor by my London Assembly colleague, Steve O’Connell AM, who says Londoners “need more than an ad campaign”. Mr O’Connell, who chairs the Police and Crime Committee, has also called for the Mayor to stop blaming central government, skirting the fact our police force has been subjected to £600million in cuts, with more to come.

There is a real danger that Londoners are being fed a misconception that the Mayor and the Met have not taken action to tackle violent crime. The reality is that Sadiq has been the first Mayor of London to publish a dedicated Knife Crime strategy, has pledged an extra £110 million in the Met to keep up police numbers, and has also introduced a £45 million ‘Young Londoners Fund’ to prevent the most vulnerable kids in our capital becoming caught in crime.

The Met have also launched their new specialist violent crime taskforce and have been successful in removing thousands of weapons off our streets through Operation Sceptre. The criticisms from Mr O’Connell could be considered irresponsible at a time when the Government have continually refused to properly fund our police services, even during a period of crisis.


Leonie Cooper AM


May 10, 2018