Financial pressures on the police will no doubt continue until 2020 and probably beyond, putting the pressure on the new Mayor for new innovative responses to ongoing policing cuts. Under both Sadiq and Zac, in 2020 Londoners can expect an increased focus on crime, with the subject appearing as priorities in both prospective Mayor’s pledges.
Under Zac in 2020, Londoners can expect increased police on public transport at night. Londoners can also expect a rise in the number of armed police patrols on the streets, as he has publicly supported the Metropolitan Police’s wish to double this number. In line with his strong environmental views, he has pledged to double the number of officers protecting major parks, as well as setting out plans for 80 extra police community support officers. Zac has also pledged to invest in crime prevention work being done by grassroots organisations across London. For International Women’s Day, Zac wrote a blog for The Huffington Post pledging that he will take will make tackling crimes against women such as forced marriage, domestic violence and female genital mutilation a priority, including a London-wide “Know Your Rights” campaign.
Under his “zero tolerance approach”, hate crimes against religious and other groups, (as well as extremism and radicalisation) will come with far tougher consequences under Sadiq by 2020. Sadiq has also been very vocal on tackling the rising numbers of sexual attacks that take place on London’s tubes, and by 2020 Londoners can expect Sadiq to be tackling this issue head on, particularly given the recent news that the British Transport Police have decided to axe their sex crime unit. During a speech in Westminster, Sadiq pledged a full review of the emergency services’ readiness to cope with a major terrorist incident on day one of his mayoralty if he was elected. Earlier this month, Sadiq promised to sell current Mayor Boris Johnson’s controversial water cannon, should he be elected, and would use the funds to pay for youth projects aimed at decreasing gang crime. Sadiq has also pledged to adopt tougher enforcement of laws on selling knives in a bid to tackle knife crime. Zac has made a similar pledge, where he has said he will crack down on “zombie killer” knives that police claim have contributed to a dramatic rise in teen stabbings.