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Leroy Logan says young black men ‘feel over-policed and under-protected’ as ex-Scotland Yard officer criticises Sadiq Khan on policing

In the final part of a series looking at the Mayor’s record on crime, Anthony France talks to a senior ex-Met officer

<p>Former Metropolitan Police Officer Leroy Logan pictured in east London </p>

Former Metropolitan Police Officer Leroy Logan pictured in east London

/ Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd
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adiq Khan’s approach to knife crime has failed to stop a “growing cycle of violence and retribution” on London’s streets, a former senior Scotland Yard officer said today.

Retired superintendent Leroy Logan, who advised the Mayor on policing when he ran for office, claims Mr Khan “turned his back on citizen-focused policing” after his May 2016 election victory.

He singled out Mr Khan’s announcement days after the poll that an additional 400 armed police officers would be deployed to combat gun crime and terrorism.

Mr Logan told the Standard: “I was there when Sadiq made the announcement. I was absolutely shocked. It was never in our manifesto.

“I was dumbfounded. From my perspective, this was a former civil rights lawyer who became mayor and turned his back on citizen-focused policing.

Read more on the London Mayoral election / ES

“I don’t mind being tough on crime but you have to look at the causes of it.

“There was no emphasis from Sadiq of the early intervention and prevention programmes we had discussed.”

He claimed Mr Khan and the Met’s approach to knife crime has alienated a generation of young black men, who in London are three to four times more likely to be stopped and searched and four times more likely to have force used against them compared with the white population.

This community, Mr Logan says, feels “over-policed and under protected” by an “occupying force”. He added: “Trust and confidence among young black men with the police is the lowest it has been in decades. Sadiq needs to learn from what the crime analysis is telling him.

“Young people are already living in fear. So, threatening to send them to prison isn’t working. In some rare cases, they don’t mind going inside for a rest from what’s happening on the street.”

Mr Khan has announced an action plan to work with Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick to address community concerns about the disproportionality.

Campaigners called the list “racially discriminatory” after figures showed 80 per cent of people on it are black, Asian or from ethnic minorities.

Mr Logan, who worked on the Macpherson report into Stephen Lawrence’s racist murder in 1993, said such recent action from Mr Khan has come too late.

“He has procrastinated, stalled, made excuses and isolated himself. Four years later, crime levels are just as bad.

“If Sadiq had done this in the latter part of 2016, we would be in a much better place.”

Analysis by the Standard shows knife crime overall has been at or near record levels for much of Mr Khan’s mayoralty with about 15,000 offences per year, until a slight dip since the Covid lockdowns helped bring street crime down.

Although his supporters concede that crime has gone up during his tenure by six per cent, they point out that gun offending is down 15 per cent since May 2016, burglary down 12 per cent, and moped muggings nearly a third lower.

Mr Logan also claimed City Hall’s violence reduction unit has not maintained a critical distance between the Mayor and Scotland Yard to establish a public health approach to solving knife crime.

Instead of having Mr Khan at “arm’s length” of the VRU, he is “hands on, fingers in” resulting in its “limited impact”, Mr Logan alleged.

“There is a growing cycle of violence and retribution. People can’t walk along the street without implications,” he said.

A London Labour spokesman said: “When Sadiq became Mayor violent crime had already been rising across the country for two years due to massive Tory cuts to the police and youth services.

“Sadiq has consistently been both tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime - putting over 1,000 more officers on the streets, creating positive opportunities for young Londoners and creating England’s first Violence Reduction Unit to tackle the complex causes of crime.

“If re-elected, Sadiq will continue to put more police officers on the street and create more opportunities for young Londoners.”

Scotland Yard Commander Dr Alison Heydari said the Met is working hard to engage young black men who are disproportionately targeted by stop-and-search.

She said: “We are definitely in listening mode.

“We are proactively out in communities where there are young black men so that we can start to build trust. The bridges are not broken - they are still there.”

Members of ethnic minority communities are involved in the training of new officers, so recruits get instant feedback.

Each borough has an engagement plan which informs how police interact with diverse communities and different faiths.