London is now more crime ridden and dangerous than New York City, with rape, robbery and violent offences far higher on this side of the Atlantic.
The latest statistics, published earlier this week, revealed that crime across the UK was up by 13 per cent, with a surge in violence in the capital blamed for much of the increase.
Seizing on the figures, US President, Donald Trump, claimed the rise could be linked to the “spread of radical Islam”, adding that it demonstrated the need to “keep America safe”.
Just out report: "United Kingdom crime rises 13% annually amid spread of Radical Islamic terror." Not good, we must keep America safe!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 20, 2017
But critics dismissed his comments as “ignorant” and “divisive”, with former Labour leader Ed Miliband calling him an “absolute moron”.
He wrote on Twitter:
Spreading lies about your own country: sad. Spreading lies about others: sadder. What an absolute moron. https://t.co/0EACPcX9xR
— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) October 20, 2017
Criminal justice experts insisted rising crime in the UK, and particularly London, was more to do with the way the city was policed and blamed the reduction in neighbourhood patrols across the capital.
While both London and New York have populations of around 8 million, figures suggest you are almost six times more likely to be burgled in the British capital than in the US city, and one and a half times more likely to fall victim to a robbery.
London has almost three times the number of reported rapes and while the murder rate in New York remains higher, the gap is narrowing dramatically.
But in the mid-1990s spiralling crime rates in New York – sparked by the crack cocaine epidemic – resulted in radical a new approach being adopted by the city’s police department.
Under the leadership of Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and police commissioner, Bill Bratton, the NYPD introduced a zero tolerance approach to low level crime and flooded problem areas with patrols.
The force also put a huge amount of emphasis on community policing in order to build bridges between the police and members of the public.
As a result the murder plummeted from a high in 1990 of over 2,000 to a record low of 335 last year.
That figure is expected to fall even lower this year, and is currently in line to dip below 240.
But the last decade has seen the Metropolitan Police move away from the neighbourhood policing model and low level in favour of pursuing more serious offences.
In addition a huge amount of police resources have been poured into high profile and politically sensitive cases, such as a the flawed VIP child abuse inquiry and the phone hacking inquiry.
At the same time crime rates in London have been creeping up and the latest statistics are likely to increase pressure of Met bosses to reassess their policing priorities.
Last year there were almost 70,000 burglaries in Greater London with more than 43,000 taking place in people’s homes.
Rory Geoghegan, head of criminal justice at the Centre for Social Justice, said neighbourhood policing had a wide range of benefits.
He said: “By embedding proactive community policing, the NYPD is helping tackle crime, improving the quality of life and building better relationships with the community.
“It’s an approach and argument that London – and the country as a whole – is struggling to maintain never mind bolster, with too many preferring to talk excitedly about investing in crime hubs to hunt online trolls.”
David Green of the think tank Civitas, also said there was urgent need to put bobbies back on the beat.
He said: “It has been suggested by academics that bobbies on the beat do not reduce crime, but it is quite clear that a uniformed presence on the streets will act as an effective deterrent.
“The police in this country remain too influenced by the intelligence led investigations focused on serious crime.
“That is exactly the opposite of the model that has proved so effective in New York City over the past 20-years.”