Susan Hall 'doesn't feel safe walking home at night and walks with keys between her fingers' as she calls for better policing

27 September 2023, 12:48 | Updated: 27 September 2023, 12:49

Susan Hall says she doesn't feel safe walking home at night
Susan Hall says she doesn't feel safe walking home at night. Picture: LBC/Getty

By Kit Heren

Susan Hall has said she doesn't feel safe walking home alone at night and walks with the sharp point of her keys between her fingers.

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The Conservative London mayoral candidate told LBC's Nick Ferrari that she had felt less safe in the capital over the past five years, and said many women feel the same,

Ms Hall, who will face off against the Labour incumbent Sadiq Khan next May, called for the Met Police to deploy more frontline officers on the streets to help all Londoners feel safer.

Asked if she feels safe walking home in London at night, Ms Hall said: "No, not anymore… You ask most women - if you’re walking along at night, and you can hear someone behind you, you think ‘who’s that?’

"It’s funny because I’ve spoken to men and they don’t feel that," Ms Hall said, recalling a conversation with a male friend who said he never felt worried coming home alone from the pub after a few drinks.

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Susan Hall feels unsafe walking home in London at night

In contrast, she said that she had spoken to young female colleagues "and they carry their keys with the sharp bit hanging out their hands.

"The number of people I’ve said that to in various meetings and they say well ‘I do that’."

Asked if she does the same, Ms Hall said: "Since I heard that, yes I do, adding "you do feel threatened."

There have been a number of high-profile killings of lone women at night in recent years, including Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa and Zara Aleena. Mr Khan and the Met have pledged to crack down on violence against women and girls.

Ms Hall said that "the person behind you is almost certainly going to be fine, it’s just at night and the echo of the steps" that feel uneasy.

Watch Again: Nick Ferrari is joined by Susan Hall | 27/09/23

She added: "In the last five years I’ve been more concerned than I have before."

There are more than 34,000 police officers in the Met - meaning the force is the largest it has ever been.

But Ms Hall said that Mr Khan "hasn’t got control of the police whatsoever."

She added: "We’ve got more frontline police officers now than ever. Where are they? We are not seeing them on the streets.

"This is the first time the Metropolitan Police have ever been put in special measures…

"And policing is a massive part of what I want to put right in London, because too many people don’t feel safe."

Mr Khan has vowed to reform the police in line with recommendations made by Baroness Casey in her damning review this year.

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