Unmasking London’s Crime Waves

By Natalie Moghadari 

London, our beautiful city, known for its bustling life, is pervaded by a dark flaw hidden in its shadow: Crime.  

Crime is unavoidable in any major city; ranging from minor trivial thieveries to serious violent offences, it always seems to be there, regardless of how “safe” a place might be.  

Recent cases in London in 2023 show that the most common crimes were violent or sexual offences, with 30 out of 1,000 people being victims of such crimes. According to the Standard Newspaper, the police have released a manhunt on an individual who is suspected to be responsible for breaking a woman’s ankle while on the Tube. The victim was getting onto the escalators of the underground station Waterloo, when a stranger attacked them, dropping a 6-foot-long metal poster onto her ankle.  

Anti-social behaviour, ASB, is the harassment or alarm caused to a person when in a situation of intimidation or distress as a result of another person’s behaviour towards you. It includes various other crimes, for example: 

  • Vandalism/ Graffiti  
  • Public intoxication: disorderly behaviour  
  • Street racing (illegal racing or reckless public driving) 

 ASB crime consists of 28.55% of reported incidents in 2023 

Recent statistics paint a complex picture of crime in London. While overall crime rates have fluctuated, certain types of crime have seen notable increases, such as: 

  • Knife crimes 
  • Gang related violence 
  • Assault 
  • Homicide 

These fluctuating crimes have alarmed public figures and authorities. Knife crimes are beginning to rise, having seen an increase of 7% last year which, according to the Metropolitan Police, mostly affects the young generation. Meanwhile, property crimes such as burglary, theft, and vehicle-related offences remain prevalent. 

What drives people to commit these crimes? 

Violent crimes can often be driven by hate, as exemplified by the racially motivated attack on Selma Taha, the director of a women’s organisation group called Southhall Black Sisters. Whilst travelling on the Northern Line late on a Friday night, she was bitten and had clumps of her hair ripped out. It was reported that on the same Tube carriage, there was an identifiable police officer sitting nearby, however did nothing to intervene. How can people trust authorities, who “protect” citizens, if they allow crimes such as this to happen right in front of their eyes? 

Though it may seem that all crimes are hateful and violent, certain acts of burglary and theft of vehicles can often be driven by lack of opportunity and economic hardship.  

The rise of AI has led to the displacement of countless workers in traditional jobs such as manufacturing, transportation and retail which are starting to replace workers with machines as technology develops.  

Furthermore, considering the stagnating cost of living in the UK, people are struggling to keep afloat with rising expenses. With mounting financial pressure, many individuals have barely any choice but to turn to crime. Though such actions should not be justified, it is important to understand the causes of these crimes.  

How are the authorities trying to prevent rising crime rates? 

Combating hate crimes requires perseverance and determination as well as efforts and reinforcements from the law. Strategies to try and prevent these crimes have been established by the metropolitan police, such as patrolling in high crime areas and using advanced criminal detection and prevention technology.  

Further effective measures include: 

  • Community policing, which emphasises building relationships between police officers and local residents, has shown promise in reducing crime rates and enhancing trust. 
  • Public awareness campaigns play a vital role in crime prevention by educating citizens on how to protect themselves and their property.  
  • Also, social programs aimed at providing education, employment and mental health support are essential in addressing crime’s root causes. 

While the challenges are significant, the commitment to reducing crime in London remains strong. Continued investment in law enforcement, coupled with social and economic support, is crucial for creating safer communities. Technological advancements will also play a role, with improved data analytics and cybersecurity measures helping to combat both traditional and digital crimes. 

Posted in Featured, News.