In September 2015, when Sadiq Khan was campaigning to be elected London Mayor, he made a bold statement in an interview with the London Evening Standard: ‘I will do everything in my power to cut stop-and-search.’ He was referring to the policing tactic of stopping young men suspected of carrying weapons or drugs.

Mr Khan was echoing Theresa May, then Home Secretary, who in 2014 had instructed the police to scale down the use of stop-and-search after a Home Office consultation found that it was unpopular.

This change in tack has been followed by the most terrible consequences. In the past two years in London 141 people have been stabbed to death, according to figures from the police. That death toll is not so far short of the 179 fatal casualties suffered by the British armed services in the Iraq War, and I am sure that figure will be reached in the near future.

Year-on-year from 2015/16 and 2016/17 there has been a 31 per cent rise in knife crime and a 78 per cent rise in acid attacks in London, figures from the Mayor’s Office of Policing and Crime show.

A few days ago, some 19 months after he took office and in response to the massive surge in knife crime, Mr Khan finally changed his mind and announced: ‘Londoners will see a tougher crackdown throughout 2018. This will include a significant increase in the use of targeted stop-and-search by the police across our city.’

He made his statement after four knife murders in London on New Year’s Eve alone. Knife crime is out of control in the capital, and it was the received wisdom of the Left, which is evidently accepted by this Conservative government, which brought this about.

In 2014 Mrs May told MPs that stop-and-search was ‘unfair’ to black youths when it was ‘misapplied’. Her concerns were pure political class point-missing. She did not seem to grasp that the primary aim of stop-and-search is preventing murder. She instead spoke of strategies to reduce the policing tactic through ‘revised codes, best practice schemes and new methods of accountability’. It is important to remember that this droning jargon from the Westminster bubble must have been an aggravating factor in the deaths of some stab victims.

For his part, Mr Khan has long maintained that stop-and-search causes ‘community tensions’. This appears to be a way of accommodating a fact that politicians would like to avoid: some people do not want to be policed. I am fairly sure that if, for example, white middle-aged men started stabbing each other to death in large numbers that demographic would bow to an increased incidence of personal searches and conclude that it was for the common good. A public conversation might then begin about what was driving the fatalities. That public conversation never begins about the current knife problem. The middle-class metropolitan Left appears to look the other way from this ongoing slaughter of young people, preferring to bandy about the buzzword of the century, racism.

Some common sense is needed. It should go without saying that while it is unfortunate that some innocent young black men feel oppressed if the police search them, it is even more ‘unfortunate’ for other young black men to be stabbed to death because the police are told not to do their jobs properly on the grounds that some people are upset by it. Sadly, in a political environment awash in Leftist dogma, clear moral imperatives can become lost, as they have with knife crime.

As knife killings surged last year, Mr Khan spent £1.7million of taxpayers’ cash on the establishment of a Scotland Yard police unit to monitor ‘hate speech’ on Facebook and Twitter. As an example of wrong priorities, that takes some beating. But it seems that it is name-calling that vexes the Left, not sticks and stones or indeed knives.

The chief complaint about stop-and-search is that it disproportionately targets young black men. However, since many of the instances of knife crime occur among young black men, it would seem eminently sensible to patrol vigilantly in that demographic. It would surely save lives, and that is the whole point. The Left do not agree. They prefer to talk about ‘education’, knife wands and knife arches outside schools. Wands and arches are designed to detect knives in the manner of airport scanners, and needless to say those outside schools will not play a part in policing older knife carriers. These measures smack of institutional defeatism and fiddling while Rome burns. With the situation being so desperate in London, perhaps knife arches are a practical measure, but they would also be glaring evidence that in 2018 the police cannot, or have been prevented from, controlling the problem of schoolchildren carrying knives in the capital city of an allegedly advanced country. It would also be further evidence of the lethal consequences for a society when traditional authority and morality is overturned.

It is encouraging that the London Mayor has made a sensible change in policy. But it comes too late for the families of the 80 people stabbed to death in London on his watch in 2017.

  • Bosanova

    All perfectly sensible stuff.
    Now who is brave enough to suggest we pay closer attention to the demographic with a penchant not for knives but for bespoke tailoring of the explosive variety? Bit too close to home for Mr Kahn perhaps, not that his secular colleagues show any more gumption or honesty either.

    • martianonlooker

      Before ‘stop and search’ was reduced, the policy was seen as being racist. Now that it is being increased, do the native population get an apology for being denounced in the first place?

      • paul parmenter

        Being right all the time means that you never have to apologise. Even when what was right in 2015 is not right today; because that still cannot be your fault.

  • Colkitto03

    Western governments only now treat the symptoms of societies problems and never treat the root causes. Treating the root cause of the stabbing epidemic would mean for example admitting there is a problem with young working class men. The huge long terms problems of fatherlessness and generational dependency on the welfare state would need to be addressed. The middle-class metropolitan Left will never allow these issues to be dealt with and neither will their friends in the TV news media.

    • gs_schweik

      But,….’working class’?

      • Thomtids

        As most assailants are blacks and asians, perhaps the correct term to describe them is the “non-working class”.

        • martianonlooker

          The ‘never worked class’?

          • Thomtids

            “Never will work” class.

  • Malcolm Marchesi

    London is a lost cause , the London of my youth ( I’m 76 ) is now only a memory . So many of those who lived and worked there in the past have given up and moved out to the suburbs or the country and who can blame them ? On the rare occasions when I reluctantly visit the capital of my country , I feel apprehensive and uneasy and can’t wait to get out of the place . To me , it is now a foreign and unwelcoming place peopled by those whom I do not understand and who hold different basic values and beliefs . I feel betrayed by our politicians who have allowed and even encouraged this to come about and the fact that the new rulers of London have little or nothing in common with the vast majority of the British people , fills me with foreboding . There is always hope for the future but I have little of it at the moment !

    • 39 Pontiac Dream

      One of the first times I went to London was with my ex, some 13/14 years ago. We stayed in a hotel in Kensington, which had a pretty good smattering of British and foreign tourists. One night, we decided to try a restaurant about 10/15 mins walk down the road from our hotel. On the trip down there, I didn’t hear a single English speaking voice despite the road being packed – we might have been abroad for what it was worth. The people who ran the restaurant were incredibly rude – they seemed to be operating on a policy of moving everything as fast as it could go (new customers were shunted to our table before we’d properly left it) – but the food was okay.
      I despise London. I hate the rush, the bustle, and, most of all, the people have no manners. I’m sure there are good people in the suburbs but, for a city which supposedly welcomes tourism, stop anyone and ask them for directions or help and if you don’t get an angry response, you are simply ignored. Other capital cities I’ve visited, including Rome and Oslo, the people are lovely, welcoming and obliging. London, to use the supposed language of Trump, is a shithole.

      • hedgemagnet

        Stop and ask anyone directions, and the chance that they’ll have a clue anyway, is slim. Even twenty years ago it was fairly likely that the person you asked was a local and had a rough idea of where you wanted to go. I live five miles from Charing X and probably go up that way in a non-work capacity about once a year now – people’s poor manners and general selfishness being the main reasons that stop me (although being a major city, maybe ’twas ever thus). Walking around, I’m also genuinely surprised if I hear somebody speaking English with an English accent now.

      • Gilbert White

        Not many Africans in Foyles or NPG!

    • I’m somewhat older and feel exactly the same. I worked near Alwywch for some 20 years and there were pleasant places to go for a lunchtime stroll, to the Embankment Gardens or Lincoln’s Inn Fields to listen to a band whilst eating ones sandwiches. Do such places still exist?
      I recently went nearby for my daughter’s graduation ceremony, travelling by bus from Marlybone (free pass pass!), and I have vowed that it is the last time that I go into London; it was totally impossible to recognise compared with the London that I knew and loved.

      • hedgemagnet

        Lincoln’s Inn Fields is now effectively a sports ground, with tennis courts and a cafe. Building it was probably a way to prevent the homeless from setting up camp there, as they had been for a couple of decades.

        • It must have been around forty or more years ago when I worked there before any of the present invaders arrived.

    • Bosanova

      Decades ago I went to France to learn French. Our class was a good mix of Euro-peoples. At one point we had a discussion of the respective national stereotypes of each students (not sure you’d do that these days). For the Brits, if not designated as hooligans (at a peak in those days), it was as Gentlemen known for fair-play. Indeed, I lost count of French talking about le fair-play Anglais. Thankfully this is largely still true in Britain, but only outside London where it is everyman for himself. More people stood up for my pregnant wife when we holidayed in Istanbul then ever did in London where one disgruntled commuter even said “oh, not you again” when she had the temerity to indicate that he was in a seat reserved for the pregnant/elderly etc. I have become ashamed to associate myself with Londoners – city of my birth.

  • Colonel Mustard

    He’s still a silly little man and always will be.

    • OBT

      His dad was a bus driver, doncha know?

  • Uusikaupunki

    The Macpherson Report has much to answer for…..

    • Flaketime

      The Macpherson Report a flawed report based a murder which probably never happened the way the Blair government claimed it happened. All the evidence from one source whom no one not even the victims family believed, had to be accepted unquestioningly because it fitted nicely with the bullying Left wing vision.

      I’m sure the report was not written by MacPherson himself, but by radical elements in the Labour party allowed free rein and like everything else the Left do, it was a failure from the start.

      Next time you see the usual cropped photo of Saint Stephen go check out the full sized one, and you will see him making a black power salute with clenched fist. This should give a good indication that the story Duane Brooks gave to Police might not be true at all.

      • timbazo

        The MacPherson report was written to hide the corruption that affected the police in South East London including the investigation of the murder of Stephen Lawrence. MacPherson knew that the public would not be surprised by an accusation of racism against the police but that an admission of corruption would radically change the public’s view.

        • Flaketime

          There had been plenty of corruption issues at the Met before, including the Krays, and the SoHo Vice squad.
          http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/21st-may-1977/12/police-and-the-pornographers

          Corruption was and remains nothing new, in fact another couple of officers of the Met have just been convicted, so I doubt another corruption scandal would have made any real difference, in fact it would have provided an easy get out to convict those involved and do nothing else.

          No, this was a politically motivated change to the laws of the UK which were never in a manifesto and introduced against the wishes of the British public by an authoritarian oppressive regime.

        • LoveMeIamALiberal

          This is something no one in the establishment wanted or wants to talk about. The detective leading the murder investigation knew the father of one of the accused, who had connections to organised crime. From my recollection of the MacPherson, this line was questioning was closed down.

        • Gilbert White

          No the corruption was always there! The locals know it was a drug turf war moving on from a dinner money extortion racket.

      • Uusikaupunki

        One of the most important parts of the report was that it tarred the whole of the Metropolitan Police as being “institutionaly racist”. Measures were then put in place to “reverse” this which has led on to the disastrous consequences we see now. Another eventual casualty was the centuries -old “double-jeopardy” principle, whereby one could be not indicted for the same crime twice…sacrificed upon the altar of race relations.

        • martianonlooker

          Agree, although I would suggest Blair’s alter of race relations

      • Gilbert White

        Brooks had an amazing set of accusations and arrests that floated off like teflon!

  • Flaketime

    It’s not enough though. There is a psychological condition in the Left wing mind known as ‘Left wing denial’ and it is responsible for more human deaths in human history than anything other than natural causes.

    Khan is exhibiting Left wing denial here. He needs to face up to the error and examine why it happened, what will work in the future and sincerely apologise. He also needs to examine all the other policies he has followed for failure and amend them accordingly.

    Lefties are unfortunate creatures, believing most deeply that they are the only ones with the answers, their is the only way which will work and everyone who doesn’t see the world their way needs to be silenced, or in some cases exterminated.

  • OBT

    London is now a dystopian, degenerate, dysgenic shithole; populated by faggots, beta-Male, hipsters, science-denying trannies, po-faced millennials delighting in their “anxiety” and “mental health issues”, African and middle-eastern savages, and Eastern European psychopathic gangsters. It’s alien, and to be avoided at all costs.

    • ancientpopeye

      Why don’t you stop beating about the bush and say what you really mean?

    • Malcolm Marchesi

      Spot on my son , absolutely spot on !

    • martianonlooker

      I second Popeye and Malcolm.

    • Dorothy Webb Davies

      We must change our capitol city, mustn’t we?

      • OBT

        Capital, gorgeous, Capital x

  • TheStoneMan

    I know this might be perverse but knives are not the problem. I always carried a pen knife to sharpen my pencils at school, but I would no more have used it on a person than I would have shot them with the gun I did not have. I might have got into a fist fight but never a knife fight.

    • OBT

      The problem is negroid gangsta “culture”.

    • Colonel Mustard

      I can remember when Scouts and would-be Scouts often wore sheath knives on their snake-clasp belts. I can remember fights involving boys wearing sheath knives as well, who never used them as a weapon and would not have thought of doing so.

      • Gilbert White

        I remember talking down girl guides panties without resorting to my sheath knife, or snake clasp..

    • Bosanova

      Yes, we all had pen knives at school too. I don’t recall anyone ever using them as weapons.

  • 39 Pontiac Dream

    Maybe London (and the rest of the country for that matter) would have a better chance of stopping knife crimes (and other serious crimes) if the police weren’t chasing down complaints of people being ‘offended’ and/or marshalling mass demonstrations and protests organised pretty much daily by the left.
    Just a thought.

    • suemary

      Don’t think too hard you might find yourself being ‘re-educated’

  • simonstephenson

    “It would surely save lives, and that is the whole point. The Left do not agree.”

    Well, no, of course the Left don’t agree. The Left’s only criterion for judging actions or policies is whether or not they are destabilising to the institutions necessary to maintain a small-State society with high levels of personal responsibility. An epidemic of knife crime is obviously destabilising to present day society, so it’s wishful thinking to believe that anyone on the Left will be sincere about doing anything to counter it.

  • ant

    Stabiq

  • ancientpopeye

    Surprising they haven’t claimed fund slashing, after all they could only afford £7000 for a portrait of Hogan Howe.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Was he wearing his comic opera general’s uniform with its EU decorations?

      • Little Black Censored

        The Duke of Plaza-Toro.

  • James60498 .

    He might announce it, but who knows what he and the Police Commissioner have agreed in the background?

    • The Commissioner is female and the mayor is a Muslim. How can they possibly reach agreement unless she does exactly what he wants?

      • martianonlooker

        Lesbian feminist, commissioner, not the little guy

  • As the majority of knife crime occurs amongst young black men, and they are the ones who ‘feel oppressed’ by the police, why not just concentrate on stopping it spreading outside that group and in the longer term the problem will solve itself!

    • OBT

      “Win-win”, as they say …

    • Gilbert White

      Around this time the police instead of stop and search just followed the mainly black troublemakers around with a video camera. This was amazingly effective, maybe because of the the African evil eye superstition effect. Of course this was stopped.

  • suemary

    It is a similar problem in education. If you’re a white teacher whatever you do is racist. If black kids do badly it is because of your racism. If they do well it is the honest struggle of an oppressed minority to free themselves from the shackles etc. Teaching them anything about literature or music is imposing white culture; not teaching them is abandoning them. While all this nonsense is going on Chinese, Korean and Hindu kids quietly get on very successfully. It seems white racism doesn’t apply to them

    • Gilbert White

      Cannot imagine any white teacher doing this job?

  • UKCitizen

    Well at least he didn’t use his usual mantra of “All part of being in a big multi cultural city!”
    But everything is now about feelz rather than facts.
    Dead people can’t have hurt feelings to worry about and can’t complain so far better to appease the populace even if it does allow free reign for knife wielding murderers.

  • LoveMeIamALiberal

    The police keep and publish lots of statistics on stop and search including outcomes. About one third of searches result in a ‘positive outcome’ ie an arrest, fine or warning notice issued. The positive outcome rate is the same for whites, blacks and asians, so there is no institutional pattern of discrimination. Everyone knows there is a problem with black young men involved in crime – its main cause being the high rate of fatherless families among Afro-Caribbeans – but it’s politically incorrect to point out this truth; most politicians would rather turn a blind eye and let young black men continue killing each other than take the flack arising from confronting the issue.

  • John P Hughes

    When the press want to turn on Theresa May (now happening as the story behind last week’s reshuffle is emerging), her actions (and errors) over stop-and-search and knife crime may come under the spotlight. In 2014 TM was Home Secretary and Boris Johnson was Mayor of London. The change of policy on stop-and-search was it seems a Conservative one, which Sadiq Khan inherited and has supported.
    The article could have looked at what Boris said and did on the issue.

    • Nick Di Rocco

      The article clearly states TM’s involvement. Boris sacked Ian Blair as police chief (knife crime figures were similar to now) and gradually the incidence dropped enough for the PC crowd (of which TM is a stalwart) to gamble on scaling it down. Khan campaigned on the issue, taking his lead from his fellow Blairite TM.