A clear majority of Londoners think Sadiq Khan is “too soft” on crime, a poll disclosed today as rival mayoral candidate Laurence Fox unveiled new plans to offer knife carriers an ultimatum of jail or rehabilitation.
The survey of 1,004 Londoners by independent pollsters Savanta ComRes found 62 per cent think the Mayor is not tough enough, compared with 26 per cent who think he gets it “about right”.
It also found over half of women in London – 52 per cent – felt dissatisfied with the level of visible police presence in their area.
Mr Fox hit out at the Mayor, saying: “The polling shows that people in London think Sadiq Khan is a soft touch on crime. The greatest city in the world is besieged by criminal activity and law abiding citizens have had enough.
“It is deeply concerning that more than half of women are unhappy with the level of police presence where they live.”
Mr Khan declined to respond, a spokesman saying: “Sadiq will not engage with politicians on the extreme far Right.”
Actor and activist Mr Fox announced new plans to serve knife carriers with an ultimatum of accepting four years of rehabilitation work, or spend four years in prison.
He claimed London had seen a crimewave under Mr Khan’s watch with the murder rate up by 41 per cent, knife crime up by 28 per cent and street muggings up by 56 per cent.
“The Mayor has failed the basic test of keeping London safe. In the name of his political correctness, children are dying on our streets, hospitals are filling up with the stabbed and shot,” asserted the actor and activist, who standing as leader of his own Reclaim Party.
“I have promised mothers that if their sons are foolish enough to be caught with a knife, they will regret it.
“If they are arrested, they will have a simple choice offered to them at the police station. As Mayor, I will bring the full might of the law to send them to jail or I will support them back into the community to make the most of their lives.”
Critics may point out that the Mayor does not have sentencing powers, which reside in judges. But allies of Mr Fox say the criminal justice system will respect the “pulpit” of the elected mayor to set a tougher direction in crime fighting.
Putting crime at the top of his priorities, Mr Fox said he would boost he use of controversial stop and search powers. “I want the Met to become a police force again not a police service,” he said. “I will roll back the gangsters, drug barons, pimps and organised criminals that target and thrive in struggling communities, decay and deprivation.”