The easing out of coronavirus lockdown restrictions has prompted concerns that the level of crime which had plummeted might begin to rise again.
Sadiq Khan, the London mayor and Birmingham`s police commissioner warned that the upsurge in violent criminality to pre-coronavirus levels could continue as the coronavirus pandemic strikes the economy.
The London Mayor said that he worried “the last decade of government austerity, where ministers decimated police and youth services – causing violent crime to rise in London and across UK”, could recur.
In the month of July, seventeen homicides were recorded in London, the highest monthly total this year and two more than last year. Again for the first time this year, in June violent crime climbed back above the average.
The crime commissioner said: “My greatest concern is the trajectory; I am worried that it won’t plateau at this level” fearing the impact the crisis will have in a city with a disproportionately young population.
“I have profound concerns that we will have a mass of younger people who are unemployed who become available to do things like crime. I’m also concerned about children who have missed masses of their schooling – for some children six months of their education has been lost,” he said.
Recently, police officers launched an investigation following the stabbing to death of a 32-year-old man at a party in Hounslow, west London, early on Thursday morning. A few hours earlier, on Wednesday another man was gunned down in a fatal shooting in Enfield, north London. On Friday night, five people were injured in shootings that occurred in separate incidents.
Criminologists have warned the government that the surging economic pressures might heavily impact young people if they did not take quick action.
Prof Tim Newburn, of the London School of Economics, said: “If you put together the educational dislocation with the more than once in a generational economic downturn, you cannot be comfortable about the likely future trends for crime. Any serious politician, or police officer, should be concerned”.