Criticism over ‘abysmal’ response to mayor’s victims of crime survey

Khan’s Victim Voice Survey – launched in June 2022 – had only received 112 complete responses as of October this year, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

City Hall and (inset) Lib Dem mayoral candidate Rob Blackie
City Hall and (inset) Lib Dem mayoral candidate Rob Blackie

Sadiq Khan has been slammed by a mayoral opponent after a survey aimed at better supporting victims of crime in London received an “abysmal” number of responses.

Data uncovered by Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Rob Blackie found that Khan’s Victim Voice Survey – launched in June 2022 – had only received 112 complete responses as of October this year.

The anonymous survey aims to improve the level of care and service that victims of crime receive from the police, by recording any concerns they raise.

It was announced on its launch by the Labour mayor as an “important step” towards “rebuilding trust and confidence in the Met Police”, and City Hall promised that its findings “will be regularly analysed”.

But in a Freedom of Information response sent to Blackie, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (Mopac) admitted: “No analysis has been undertaken to date as there are not enough responses to allow for robust analysis of the data.”

Blackie said: “This is yet another example of the mayor putting press release first, action second – with victims’ voices being hailed as important and then completely forgotten about.

“Trust in the Met Police is at an all-time low and if we are to rebuild trust in the service, it is so important that victims’ voice is heard.”

He called the survey’s response rate “abysmal”, adding: “Time and again, we see this mayor announce a new initiative amidst a media storm but when it comes down to the follow through, next to nothing happens. London desperately needs a mayor who will get stuff done.”

Between June 2022 and October 2023 – since the survey was launched – a total of 1,436,771 offences were recorded by the Met. Theft comprised 374,719 (26%) of those offences, followed by 352,184 violence against the person offences (25%) and 153,084 vehicle offences (11%).

A spokesperson for the mayor said: “The mayor has been front and centre of the action to reform the Met and continues to support the commissioner to deliver meaningful and lasting change that puts victims of the crime first.

“The Met – with the support of MOPAC, have a number of mechanisms whereby victims of crime provide feedback on the quality of service they receive. This generates 20,000 responses a year through the User Satisfaction Survey, the Telephone Digital Investigation Unit Survey and the Victim Voice Survey – the latter of which allows victims to submit feedback anonymously. This feedback is reviewed and used to improve the service victims of crime receive.

“Mopac and the Met are working with victims of crime to increase the uptake of the Victim Voice Survey and will continue to work closely with the Met and Claire Waxman, London’s independent victims’ commissioner, to improve the quality of service provided to Londoners as we continue to build a better and safer London for all.”

A source close to Khan said: “Sadiq is working hard to reform the Met and being tough on crime and its causes. However, he’s doing it with one hand tied behind his back in the face of over £1bn of Tory austerity cuts to cops and youth services.

“He would welcome the Lib Dems joining him in making the case for the government to properly fund our police. The next mayoral election will be first-past-the-post and Sadiq is asking every Londoner to lend him their vote to stop the Tories doing to London what they’ve done to the country.”

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