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‘What’s wrong with London’: Cricketer Kevin Pietersen and many others ask as violent street crimes spike in UK capital

It is questionable if the Western media, which has always been eager to disparage India, would turn inward and voice worries about problems that exist in their own countries as well.

On March 28, Thursday, former England cricket captain Kevin Pietersen took to X to voice his concerns about the staggering rate at which street crimes in London are rising.

Resharing a post by @CrimeLdn, which had posted a video of a recent knife attack on a train in London, the cricketer labelled London as “a disgrace of a place”.

The video shared by @CrimeLdn showed a man brutally stabbing another in a broad daylight attack on a train in London. The incident took place between Shortlands and Beckenham on a train heading to Victoria on Wednesday, March 27. The victim was reported to have serious injuries.

“WTAF is this now in London?!?!?! London was once the most amazing city. It’s an absolute disgrace of a place. • You cannot wear a watch of any value. • you cannot walk around with your phone in your hand. • women get their bags and jewellery ripped off them. • cars get smashed in for a quick smash and grab. • there’s this rubbing in the video below. @SadiqKhan must be really proud of what he’s created?!” Pietersen captioned his post.

Internet users were horrified by the audacious crime that occurred in the U.K.’s largest metropolis, that too in broad daylight. “London has become a ghetto run by gangs and criminals, but the mayor of London is concerned with ULEZ because, of course, climate change,” wrote @cevizor, expressing concern over the fact that London had become the epicentre of street crime while the government had looked the other way.

Many other X users also blamed the London government for the rise in street crimes in the city.

However, harsh it may sound the truth is that street crime has been rising in London over the last few years. In fact, last month, Indian renewable energy entrepreneur Devin Narang created quite a buzz after he said that people are apprehensive about wearing their expensive Rolex watches, especially in the poshest areas of London like Mayfair due to the risk of being mugged for their expensive watches.

Though he had not personally been targeted on his numerous trips to London, he said between five and eight Indian businesspeople have told him they have been mugged in the past few years.

Data from Watchfinder & Co. last year revealed that between 2015 and 2022, the number of stolen watches in England and Wales nearly doubled, from 6,696 to 11,035.

More than 6,000 of the thefts in 2022 took place in London.

Among the most well-known targets was Amir Khan, the former world boxing champion who was coerced into giving up his £70,000 Franck Muller watch during an armed robbery in east London in 2022.

Similarly, in an interview with The National in 2023, founding director of Beauchamp Estates Gary Hersham, who deals with high-end clients from the Gulf, stated that London must control crime if it hopes to continue being a global hub that draws in foreign investors.

“London is competing with other wealth centres around the world to attract investment, visitors and new full and part-time residents so the provision of security for both residential and commercial property, and controlling crime, is extremely important,” he said.

“Destinations such as Monaco, Dubai, Qatar and Abu Dhabi are popular with wealthy residents and visitors because security is taken extremely seriously.

Rowley is the representative for a region of Westminster Council that is near the Middle Eastern-populated Edgware Road neighbourhood of central London.

The borough is also home to a few of the city’s most wealthy neighbourhoods, renowned retail avenues, and many of the tourist attractions that draw in approximately 4.5 million people annually.

It is, however, also the “most dangerous” area of London, according to the CrimeRate database, with a crime rate that is 215 per cent higher than that of the entire city and 265 per cent higher than that of the entirety of England and Wales.

Data shows knife crimes and theft in London increasing exponentially year after year

According to Met Police data, the region saw a 32% increase in crime in the year ending in April compared to the same period in 2022 with theft being the most common offence.

Data shows that throughout the same period, stealing increased by 66% and robbery by 34%.

In comparison to 2021, knife crime increased by 25% in 2022 and 12% from March to April of 2023, the data revealed.

With 2,834 offences and an 8 crime rate in 2023, other theft is the most common crime in the City of London, according to CrimeRate. This represents a 25% increase over the 2,260 offences in 2022 and a 1.60 increase over the 6 crime rate in 2022.

Moreover, knife crime is common in London, with some of the city’s wealthiest neighbourhoods serving as hubs for robberies and knife crimes. The most unsafe location in London is the Westminster Council neighbourhood near Edgware Road in the heart of the city, with a crime rate that is 215% greater than that of the entire city.

Along with knife crime, “theft from a person”—a category that includes stealing watches, handbags, and cell phones—rose by 27% in 2022 compared to the previous year. Metropolitan Police statistics show that in the year ending December 2023, there were 72,756 such instances in the capital, up from 57,468 in the year prior.

Mayfair, which is located in Westminster, has been especially hard hit; last year, theft from an individual increased by 40%. In 2023, there were 25,650 of these instances, as opposed to 18,310 in 2022.

Police have documented a wave of watch and cell phone thefts committed by gangs riding mopeds and e-bikes.

To be honest, based on the information above, it’s safe to assume that pickpockets, con artists, and muggers have made London into a hotbed of petty crimes, freely robbing locals and visitors alike. However, these facts are not even worth a debate to the pseudo-liberals who are otherwise eager to discredit India. Recently, one such group of anti-India trolls trended ‘What’s wrong with India?’ on X, where they used petty crimes happening in India to show it in a bad light.

It is questionable if the Western media, which has always been eager to disparage India, would turn inward and voice worries about problems that exist in their own countries as well. Take London for example, which has developed into an epicentre for petty crimes as well as organised crimes like drug smuggling and financial fraud.

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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