The destitution homeless people face, that fuels crime have gotten worse during the COVID-19 lockdown according to Mayor Sadiq Khan. He suggests it will continue to do so unless the government can assign further funding to put a halt to the rise in crime that has been noticed since lockdown began.
The London Mayor has demanded that Boris Johnson take action, and make an effort to fight this rise in criminal activity that every police force all over the country is facing. Khan claims that there is a “proven link” in regards to the rise of poverty, increased hopelessness and mental health issues going untreated, which in turn, sees a significant rise in extreme violence.
In an open letter to the prime minister, as seen by many UK newspapers, he claims that the poverty issue which has only been made worse by the pandemic, will result in a sharp rise in criminal activity. He writes “We should be under no illusion that the underlying causes of violence have gone away”.
“I am deeply concerned that many could be made far worse by the current crisis and it’s economic consequences and that with our police services more stretched than ever violence could resurface as soon as the lockdown is eased.”
He claims that the youth have been hit hardest, with mental health services being harder than ever to arrange, as well as the inability to socialise with their friends or designated mental health professional during lockdown.
As someone who has only just moved to London, to me the level of crime is not much different from when I used to live up north working as one of the best locksmith sheffield has ever(click here) had before moving to the midlands, working as a Birmingham lock specialist for several years and later a Coventry Lock and safe experts, I was no stranger to seeing the aftermath of crime. When I finally moved further south and became a Reading town center Locksmith, the level of crime was roughly the same taking in to account the increased population in London.
In fact, the locksmith company (click here) I work for used to get at least twenty percent of it’s business from crime related call outs. Our locksmith Leicester city center branch used to report a suprising high number of jobs attributed to burglaries with the highest crime reported jobs coming from our locksmith Bristol branch. The range of things we saw were simple lock pickings to sophisticated lock breaks. I would be responsible, and still am, for seeing to a home after a burglary. My worry is now that everybody is stuck at home, someone so desperate for money that they are willing to break the law to obtain it, may not even bother to wait until you’ve left the house before breaking in. Let’s face it, besides the weekly dash for essentials, everybody is stuck inside.
Mayor Khan adds “This is deeply concerning given the proven link between serious violence and deprivation, poor mental health and poverty.”
He has asked Boris Johnson to invest more funding in activities for the youth of London to occupy themselves with during this unexpected period of extended lockdown. Especially since in a few weeks, the summer holidays would have began if they had still been able to attend school.
Mayor Khan closes with “It is therefore essential that the government gives the strongest consideration to young people in it’s lockdown exit strategy. Otherwise there is the serious risk of a return to previous levels of violence in London and in other major cities across the UK.”