The following is a guest post by the Rev Dr Peter Mullen, Hon. Chaplain of The Freedom Association.
The heart is always gladdened when someone in authority makes a definite and determined statement. So congratulations are in order for Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, who stated in his election manifesto of 2016:
“I shall challenge gang culture and knife crime head on.”
Well said, Sir! So how’s he doing at the end of his first year in office?
Homicides in London rose by 27.1%. Youth homicides increased by 70%. Serious youth violence is up 19%. Robbery up 33.4%, while home burglaries rose by 18.7%.
That’s a remarkable increase in serious offences of all sorts. But there’s more…
Thefts increased by over 10,000 incidents in a year, up 33.9%, Alarmingly, there were more than 4000 additional knife crime incidents, a rise of 31.3%.
Rape in the capital rose by 18.3% and there were 2,551 incidents of gun crime, a rise of 16.3% on the previous year.
Meanwhile, we have seen new and ingenious forms of sociopathic behaviour, such as the epidemic of acid attacks.
First the mayoral authorities crack down on the possession of firearms: then incidents of gun crime increase to surpass those in New York.
Secondly, these same authorities “challenge knife crime head on”: then we get those 4000 “additional knife crime incidents.”
Can we expect a ban on sales of Domestos to end the terror of acid attacks?
Mr Khan continuously blames central government’s “police cuts” for this shocking increase. Is he right? There has been a small reduction in the number of police officers but there are still 30,379 of them in the Metropolitan Police. The Met has an annual budget of £2billion and £240million of reserves.
The mayor says it’s all a result of central government’s economic policies as people are impoverished and deprived of adequate social infrastructure by the Tories in Westminster. But London is booming and there are more people in employment than ever.
So instead of subscribing to the prevailing Marxist explanation that increases in criminal behaviour – and just about everything else, actually – are the result of immutable economic forces, let’s try looking somewhere else to find answers. If economic depression leads inexorably to an increase in crime, why is it that – as Christie Davies pointed out in his book The Strange Death of Moral Britain – “Crime persistently decreased in the long economic depression at the end of the 19th century and crime has increased terrifically during the long period of economic expansion since the Second World War. The only people who believe the opposite to be the case are sociologists and left wing politicians.”
Oh, and Mr Khan of course.
For him and for all those sociologists and lefties, I have a question: “What if virtue and vice, law-abidingness and criminal behaviour are not mere functions of economic forces, as Karl Marx vainly believed, but have actually to do with the individual freedom which makes possible personal and public morality?
All views expressed in contributions by named authors are their own and may not reflect the views of The Freedom Association.