“The way we reduced knife crime in London was by a very active policy of stop and search”

Boris Johnson to Parliament, first statement to the commons as prime minister

July 24, 2019

Claim

Addressing Parliament as prime minister for the first time, Johnson said: “The way we reduced knife crime in London was by a very active policy of stop and search, which I know the party opposite opposed. They were wrong.”

Facts

Johnson’s claim is contradicted by the Home Office impact assessment of Operation Blunt 2, the crackdown on knife crime that began shortly after he became mayor in 2008. While knife crime did indeed come down during his time as mayor, the assessment found that “there was no discernible crime-reducing effects from a large surge in stop and search activity at the borough level during the operation.”

Verdict

Johnson’s statement was misleading. When I asked Downing Street for evidence to substantiate the claim, it failed to provide any.

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