Boris Johnson is a man with a vision. Speaking on the Andrew Marr show this morning he set out his plans to clean up London, both its physical appearance and its crime. Boris sees his role as being more hands on, making sure the city runs the way the people want it to. In a New York style he intends to clean up the small crimes that ruin the city. It's well documented that this approach reduces overall crime including serious offences. He talks of under 18s earning the privilege of free bus travel by acts such as community and voluntary work. He talks of the police reacting to the crimes that matter to the people of the city. He talks of mayoral advisors being accountable for their actions. In fact Boris seems exceedingly motivated and energised by the idea of making London the great city it should have always been.
It's those small crimes that make all the difference to the people that live in the city. Without a doubt inaction by the police on small crime, creates an atmosphere of lawlessness which leads to more serious and violent crimes. Car crime is a massive problem in this country, not because it's difficult to detect, but because the police don't even bother trying to detect it. Any of you who have had your car broken into will know this. The police won't even bother to look at the car. Vehicle crime in this country has a pathetic detection rate of 11%. The same goes for bicycles in London. Thousands are stolen and never investigated - what's to stop a bike thief? - nothing. Bike crime may seem trivial but it reduces the feeling of safety on the streets.
Boris has the right idea. If you clean up the streets, and get rid of the petty crime, people will believe that the city is well policed and crime won't be tolerated. Go to New York and you will see a cleaner city and police in abundance. That's why New York has seen a staggering 70% reduction in crime.
I believe Boris could not only change London for the better, but he could show the rest of the country how it's done.
You can watch Andrew interviewing Boris by clicking HERE. (45mins into the show).