Sadiq Khan says 'he has had one arm tied behind his back' after six murders in four days hit London
The Mayor of London was responding to criticism over the murder rate in the capital
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan says he feels like he has had one arm tied behind his back, with the capital gripped by a murder spree.
London was hit by six murders in just four days.
One of these was pensioner Thomas O'Halloran who was stabbed to death while riding his mobility scooter.
Mr Khan has been accused of not prioritising crime in the capital, blaming the weather and the cost-of-living crisis.
And Mr Khan has now accused the government of making too many cuts to the police force.
“One homicide is a homicide too many, and one victim of crime is one victim of crime too many, but I feel like over the last six years I’ve had one hand tied behind my back because of austerity.
“We’ve lost 21,000 officers, the Government has now said it will replace them with 20,000 officers when our population has gone up.
“We’ve had cuts in youth workers, in youth services, in after-school clubs, in services councils provide because of the choice made by the govt and it is Londoners who are caught in the crossfire.”
He added: "Before the summer holidays began, the police, myself and others, were warning about what we’ve seen in previous summers. We have seen an increase in violent crime and the cost-of-living crisis exacerbates this.
“Why? Because one of the complex causes of crime is deprivation, poverty, lack of opportunities and so forth.
“That’s made worse by the cost-of-living crisis and I’m afraid it’s no consolation to me, the police or all those bereaved families to see happening this summer what we feared, which is what we’ve seen in the last week.
“It’s really important to support the police by making sure we fund more police officers, not having more austerity – (which was) a political choice made by the Government – by supporting communities and giving young people constructive things to do.”