The Man Who Solved New York's Knife Crime Epidemic Tells UK How To Stop Crisis

2 September 2019, 06:56

The supercop who solved New York's knife crime epidemic told LBC exactly what the UK needs to do to halt the sharp rise in violent crime.

Bill Bratton, formerly the chief of the New York Police Department as well as Boston and Los Angeles, said that tasers are a vital tool for officers to protect themselves and stop crime.

Nick Ferrari went to New York to meet with Mr Bratton as part of his Time for Tasers campaign.

He wanted to speak to the world's most respected police chief to find out how he managed to sort out violent crime in a number of notorious US cities.

Bill Bratton told LBC that tasers are vital for police to cut knife crime
Bill Bratton told LBC that tasers are vital for police to cut knife crime. Picture: LBC

They met in Central Park, a place Mr Bratton described as full of drug-dealing, homelessness and disorder when he took over in 1994 and its clean-up was key to turning the city around.

After a particularly infamous murder, he was given $40million to make the city safer. He spent it on police overtime to increase officer numbers, upgrading equipment such as radios and better firearms.

Talking about what the UK can do with the additional budget that Boris Johnson has promised, Mr Bratton said: "I would see tasers as extraordinarily beneficial for morale for your officers, to show you care about them and their safety.

"Your officers, the majority of them don't want to carry firearms, but at the same time, you have an obligation to help them protect themselves and the public.

"One of the things that can be effective against knife-type crime rather than guns is a taser.

"If you take it back to the New York experience, my transit cops there was a boost in morale, that we cared for them, that we were giving them weaponry to deal with what they were up against."

A US police officer discharges a taser
A US police officer discharges a taser. Picture: PA

Responding to comments by Home Secretary Priti Patel that criminals should be terrified of police officers, Mr Bratton insisted: "I would use the word 'feared'. They want to be feared for their competency and their efficiency."

It was the meeting with Mr Bratton that inspired Nick that tasers are the answer - leading to his letter to the Home Secretary to ask for ring-fenced funding for all police forces to purchase tasers.