Mayor of London Sadiq Khan - Image by Rehan Jamil from Flickr

Tories delete ‘London Crime’ video after major inaccuracies

The Conservative Party released and subsequently removed a campaign ad on social media after heavy criticism for its major inaccuracies.

The video attempted to invoke the dystopia of George Orwell’s famous novel 1984 as it layers ominous music over a grainy black-and-white video with a voice in a transatlantic accent, for no obvious reason.

In the ad, the voiceover claimed the streets of London are riddled with “crime and desperation”.

It also mentioned that “ULEZ enforcers dressed in black faces covered with masks” terrorise the city “at the beck and call of their Labour mayor master.”

Sadiq Khan fired back: “I worry that the Conservatives are trying to hoodwink Londoners with this negative campaign.”

The initial video was removed after it was revealed that footage had been taken from a New York City subway attack and replaced with the advert below which contains the same voiceover but has removed the subway footage.

 It’s been widely ridiculed, as shown by X’s context function.

The current version of the advert, as shown above, was published on X.

The video claims a 54% increase in crime and that “Londoners [should] stay inside or go underground.”

However, stats released two months ago largely dispute this.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales reveals that individuals are actually at a lower percentage risk of becoming crime victims in London compared to the national average.

In the capital, only 14.9% of residents experienced a crime affecting them personally or their household in the year ending September 2023, whereas the national figure stands at 15.7%.

The murder rate in London has decreased.

The Metropolitan Police recorded 110 murders last year, equal to 2022.

That’s down from a peak of 153 in 2019 and is also lower than the 120 recorded in 2015.

A police officer out in London
Credit: dutourdumonde, via Deposit Photos

Khan is going for a third term as London Mayor, and the polls have him ahead of his main competition and Conservative candidate Susan Hall.

The Savanta poll for the Centre for London tracking voting intention showed Khan on 51% and Hall on 27%, giving him a 24-point lead, similar to a series of previous polls.

If he can extend his incumbency beyond eight years, Khan has pledged the “greatest council home-building drive in a generation”, vowing to complete 40,000 new homes by 2030.

He is dedicated to his clean air policy by expanding the ULEZ zone which requires older and more polluting vehicles to pay a £12.50 daily charge.

Two ULEZ Zone signs next to each other
Credit: Matt Brown via Flickr

Recently, he announced a £30million funding boost for the city’s youth services.

To win over the sceptics, Khan has dismissed the idea he will implement road charges, quashing rumours of their supposed introduction by 2026.

Critics have argued this serves as a conciliatory gesture towards suburban voters who are uncertain about his leadership.

Voting for the London Mayoral election takes place on Thursday, May 2.

Featured image credit: East London Mosque via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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