London

Sadiq Khan urged ‘to get a grip’ as UK capital faces a ‘summer of crime’

LONDON faces a “summer of crime” if Sadiq Khan does not “get a grip” and back the Metropolitan Police, amid growing fears that police forces have “lost control”.

Sadiq Khan “is destroying lives” by not backing the police in London, according to the Conservative candidate for London Mayor Shaun Bailey. Speaking on talkRADIO, Mr Bailey warned that London could see a “summer of crime” if police cannot get illegal street parties under control. Host Julia Hartley-Brewer echoed this, saying “the sight of the police running away and running scared is intolerable”.

The comments follow a series of illegal street parties across the country in recent days have turned violent and ended in clashes with police.

Last night, two illegal street parties were broken up by police during another night of unlawful gatherings in London.

Mr Bailey said: “I dont think its useful for everyone to say to the police what a mess of the job theyve made because theyre doing as theyre asked.

“Its about the leadership of the police, who is the Mayor, who is not doing anything at all.”

Hartley-Brewer claimed that “people seem to be more bothered about people going to the beach – which is legal – than people violently attacking the police”.

Mr Bailey responded: “We are really worried in London that the Mayor has not shown enough leadership to back the police, to control these things.

“We don’t want it to lead to a summer of crime. If we don’t intervene with this now, we could be dealing with huge problems as lockdown is eased and more people come out onto the street.

“The Mayor and the police need to get a grip. It benefits no-one if we lose control of the streets.

“It will turn into something really bad and horrific if we don’t intervene now.

“He needs to stop sitting on the fence because that is destroying lives.”

Earlier, the BBC’s Andrew Marr raised concerns that the police were “losing control of UK streets” in an interview with Home Secretary Priti Patel.

On Wednesday, more than 20 police officers were injured during violent clashes at a street party in Brixton while on Thursday night, officers were pelted with objects while trying to disperse a party in Notting Hill.

Seven people were arrested for offences including firearm and knife possession following unlicensed music events held on Friday.

The chaos has raised fears that violence against police and illegal mass gatherings are spreading.

Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said the number of police injured was now “heading up to 140-odd officers” in the past three weeks.

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