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Met Police boss to Donald Trump: We're safer in London than in all major US cities

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Scotland Yard chief Cressida Dick today hit back at Donald Trump’s claims about violent crime in London, saying the capital is safer than all major American cities.

The Met Commissioner also insisted that “the tide is turning” in the battle against street violence, despite the capital having seen seven killings in eight days.

Ms Dick was responding to comments by the US President, who said London hospitals are a “sea of blood” because “everyone is being stabbed”. Before his state visit to Britain this month, Mr Trump also called Mayor Sadiq Khan’s handling of the capital’s knife crime crisis a “national disgrace”, branding him a “stone cold loser”.

Ms Dick today told LBC radio she did not wish to “get in an argument” with Trump, before adding: “Compared with so many cities, including all the major US cities, London is a safe city. Homicide rates in New York are two or three times that of London.” 

US President Donald Trump has been critical of the level of violent crime in London (REUTERS)

She said: “Violence is a challenge in big cities across the world. We are completely focused on driving down violent crime in London.

“The great thing about police officers and police staff is they are very focused on their own jobs. We are focused on what we are doing in London and focused on London’s communities. I would be sad if it affects London’s international reputation in an unfair way. 

“Everybody in what was once called the western world needs to look at what’s going on in big cities and American cities have tremendous, tremendous challenges with the most serious violent crime. All of them.”

Ms Dick said she understood how knife crime made people fearful — including former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher who yesterday voiced his concerns for sons Gene, 17, and Lennon, 19.

Ms Dick, who stated that murders were down 20 per cent in the last financial year, said: “If I start with Mr Gallagher, I think he is repeating that a lot of people are concerned about their young people. I absolutely acknowledge that.”

Asked if she stood by her comments last year that the “tide was turning” against violent crime, she said: “Yes I do… It is taking a massive effort by all sorts of people, not least my very brave officers. And I completely understand that people feel frightened and there’s too much of this sort of violence in London.  Our job is to get out there and lock up the bad guys, and take the weapons off the street.”

She added: “I do want to be clear, I think police numbers falling and police budgets reducing as they have nationally and in London over the last several years, do have a link with crime rates and  violent crime we have been seeing.” 

The Met chief also said many young people involved in knife crime had found themselves exploited through social media to get involved in drug dealing — and she had problems with the glamorisation of violence online.  

She described the seven killings in eight days this month as “absolutely horrific, all very different and all involving young people”. 

Police have used Section 60 powers in response, allowing random searches in specific areas for a limited period.

The spike in violence began on June 14, when Cheyon Evans, 18, was fatally stabbed in Tooting, and Eniola Aluko, 19, was shot dead in a separate incident in Plumstead. The next day, Gleb Zhebrovsky, 34, was fatally stabbed in Poplar. Giedrius Juskauskas, 42, died after a stabbing in Stratford on June 17.

Last Tuesday, David Bello-Monerville, 38, was fatally stabbed in Barnet.  On the same day, a homeless man in his forties died after suffering horrific burns in a fire in Wanstead. The latest victim, Edward Simpson, 25, was shot dead in Feltham just after 11pm on Friday.

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