In the race towards the upcoming mayoral election, representatives from political parties have been campaigning to get their voices and proposed policies heard. But one candidate for the election doesn’t belong to any political party.
Farah London, a businesswoman born in Croydon, is pledging to fix housing problems, improve transport links and control knife crime in the capital.
Today Farah, alongside Courtney Barrett, who is the founder of the anti-knife crime charity ‘Binning Knives Saves Lives’, congregated outside City Hall to deliver a letter to the current London Mayor, Sadiq Khan.
Farah began her speech addressing the issue of violent crime in London “Unfortunately, we are here under a crisis, we are here because we have a problem with knife crime and our mayor has unfortunately done nothing to solve the problem.”
Knife crime has been an increasing problem in London, in 2019/2020 knife offences have increased by a rate of 179 per 100,000 citizens compared to 2018/2019 figures of 169 per 100,00 citizens. Also, according to Statista, in 2019/20, knife crime offences had increased by 5.8 thousand offences compared to the years 2015/16, reaching an all-time high of 15.6 thousand knife crime offences.
“We are standing here today to send a message to Sadiq Khan, we will not accept this, he needs to resign, he has no leadership, and he has done nothing to help the situation,” said Farah.
Barrett brought with him a dustbin filled with 1,100 knives that he and his volunteers had collected in the borough of Waltham Forest, in an attempt to reduce knife crime.
“Today we will be delivering these knives to Sadiq Khan with a letter to let him know that this is not acceptable. I will now read the letter,” he said.
Local resident Sue Hedges wore a t-shirt with a picture of her son Ricky Hayden, in hospital after he was stabbed. She gave a powerful speech which included the story of her son’s murder: “He wasn’t in a gang, he wasn’t in trouble with the police, he worked two jobs and he was a model citizen,” said Hedges.
Hedges was very emotional as she pleaded to Khan for reform: “I’m sick to death of this country not helping us out. My son is gone, does anyone care? Does Mr Khan care? No, he’s too busy doing other things. We need a mayor that’s going to care for us and stick up for us.”
What does Barrett hope to achieve? “I hope that it’s opened people’s eyes to the fact that London is being destroyed by those in power.
Barrett was clearly frustrated at the lack of changes made to prevent violent crime in London. He believes that today’s protest will help Farah’s mayoral campaign and draw in potential votes.
“It’s just given them somewhere to come to, because a lot of people are the same, they don’t know where to go to. I’m uniting everyone, Farah’s uniting everyone, we are the community trying to unite the community to make London a better place.”