Shelagh Fogarty is Leading Britain's Conversation.
3 June 2017, 16:55
In this striking interview with Ian Payne, former Met Chief Inspector Peter Kirkham reveals the distressing reality of policing today.
Following news of another fatal stabbing in London, the 18th in just six weeks, Ian Payne spoke to former Met Police Chief Inspector Peter Kirkham to get his take on the reason behind these alarming incidents.
Mr Kirkham, who was with the Met Police from 1981 to 2002, revealed the harrowing reality of police cuts.
He said that there are many factors outside the immediate control of the police which contribute to the increase in crime, namely cuts to other authorities, and police are left with the "symptoms of all the social falling apart".
Mr Kirkham: "The only thing police have got, once they get to the point of kids carrying knives, is stop and search, and the government's been beating the police up constantly over the last few years saying 'don't do stop and search'.
"Stop and search has plummeted, knife crime has gone up, we all knew it was going to happen, we've been warned about it, the government, and Theresa May personally, has not listened.
"In fact, quite the contrary, she's told us we're crying wolf and we're scaremongering."
He added: "We haven't got enough cops to actually put people on the street, that's the main problem really, the streets have been lost. And I would put it as strongly as that.
"The streets of London have been lost because there are not police officers patrolling. Why? Because police officers have been cut, not many numbers in relation to London, but those that have have been lost off the front line.
"But thirty, three-zero, per cent of police staff doing all the back room things, have been lost, it's a lot. [And] the cops that we theoretically still have, aren't on the front line."