London Mayor Boris hires LA police chief who cleaned up the mean streets of New York as he puts crime at the heart of his manifestoAdvisor: Former New York police commissioner Bill Bratton
7th May 2008
The man who cleaned up the streets of New York is to help mastermind Boris Johnson's crime crackdown in London.
U.S. police chief Bill Bratton will advise the new Tory mayor on how 'zero tolerance' of graffiti, fare-dodging and other minor crimes can prevent more serious offending.
The move underlines Mr Johnson's determination to wage war on youth violence and anti-social behaviour.
It chimes with David Cameron's promise to fight back against social breakdown and is further evidence that the capital will be a test-bed for a future Tory government.
Yesterday Mr Johnson proposed the creation of up to 100 weekend clubs, involving 'competition, discipline and punishment', to help troubled teenagers.
The 'respect schools' will offer youngsters activities such as football and boxing alongside academic subjects to help them perform the 'handbrake turn' needed to put them on the path to educational achievement.
Spearheading the drive will be former prison governor Ray Lewis, who has been appointed deputy mayor for young people.
Mr Johnson will today flesh out his manifesto pledge to tackle crime on public transport, with patrols on buses and Tubes and a ban on drinking alcohol on the Underground.
"We are going to change the rules so that you no longer have the frightening experience of sitting down late at night opposite someone who is not only drunk but still drinking and who may be both sloshed and threatening," Mr Johnson said. "They don't tolerate it in America. Why should we tolerate it here?
"I am convinced that we can make a real difference to so-called minor crime as a way of driving out more serious crime. And if it is a long, hard struggle to deal with the present culture of knives and gangs, that is all the more reason to make a start."
His comments echo those made last summer by Mr Cameron in a Daily Mail article in the wake of the murder of 11-year-old Rhys Jones in Liverpool.
He committed the Tories to a zero tolerance strategy modelled on New York by increasing the numbers of police on streets and concentrating on low-level disorder which can lead youngsters into a spiral of crime.
Mr Bratton, who is now head of Los Angeles police, oversaw reforms in bureaucracy and policing in New York which produced stunning results where crime rates nose-dived and quality of life soared.
"Bill Bratton can teach us a lot about reducing crime," a Tory source said. "Obviously, he's not going to be a day-today adviser but he will be on the end of a phone to offer help."
Within hours of Mr Johnson's mayoral election triumph last Friday a 15-year- old was stabbed to death in Peckham, south London, the 12th teenage murder victim this year.
"These teenage killings are not a series of freak events," the mayor said yesterday. "Each fatal stabbing or shooting is at the apex of a pyramid of violence, thuggery and bullying that is making life less pleasant for everyone in the city.
"We aren't going to crack our problem - and let me remind you, you are twice as likely to be mugged in London as in New York - unless we systematically attempt to deal with the causes.
"Of course, it would be foolish to imagine that we can have a transforming effect overnight, but I am full of hope."