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London mayor insists crime falling despite TikTok-driven looting incident, data paints a different picture

A TikTok-inspired looting incident in London last month prompted concerns about the levels of safety and crime in the city, with data indicating that while some violent crimes have dropped, much remains unchanged, compared to where it stood pre-pandemic. 

Alan Mendoza, co-founder and executive director of the Henry Jackson Society, told Fox News Digital that both London Mayor Sadiq Khan and the London Metropolitan Police, commonly referred to as The Met, have reported on and pursued only certain crimes in their effort to try and clean up London’s image, but that the wider picture remains troubling.

“London is significantly more crime-ridden in 2023 than it was when Mayor Khan took office in 2016, and the trend is rising once again after a lull during the pandemic,” Mendoza said. “Londoners are feeling less safe as a result, a perception exacerbated by the Met seemingly uninterested in pursuing lower-level crimes like burglary and mugging that have a devastating effect on those robbed.” 

“If this pattern accelerates, it won’t be long before tourists start giving London a wide berth on account of fears about their personal safety, so the onus is on the winning candidate in next year’s election to get a grip on this problem firmly and decisively.”  

Theft, which is defined as illegal taking of property without violence or intimidation, over those four years has largely returned to the same rate, with the Met recording 21,055 offenses in August 2019 and 22,595 in August 2023. The rate has dropped over the past few months, but it has remained around or above 20,000 since the end of lockdown in mid-2022. 

Sexual offenses have also risen from 1,558 to 1,997, with the average largely over 2,000 since the end of lockdown, whereas the rate remained at that level beforehand. 

Peter Aitken is a Fox News Digital reporter with a focus on national and global news. 

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