A recent slew of press reports highlight the growing issue that is gun and knife crime in the capital. Despite all efforts to the contrary, Metropolitan Police Reports show that crimes involving bladed weapons and guns rose by 24% and 42% respectively in the year 2016-17. Martin Hewitt, the force’s assistant commissioner, has placed some of the blame on funding cuts. £600m has been wiped from the force’s budget sheets since 2010. A further £400m of savings is due to be made by 2020. Although Sadiq Khan, London’s Mayor, has promised to fight these projected future cuts, there is no suggestion that the £600m already lost will be reinstated. As ever, young people face the greatest risks. Anecdotal reports suggest that substantial numbers of children as young as ten know someone who carries a knife. This is a concern for anyone professionally involved in policing or security in London.
One south London police officer is attempting to deal with the pressure by dancing. PC Dan Graham appeared on “Britain’s Got Talent” after his in-uniform dance moves went viral on YouTube. He was the unexpected star of the Met’s participation in the “running man challenge”. Police forces worldwide took up this challenge, which had them videoing, and sharing, their attempts to perform the “running man” to the 1996 song “My Boo”. PC Graham’s efforts were received so enthusiastically that he released a follow-up, performing a dance-off with a pig, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
Another pair of officers continued the pig theme by finding light relief in the newly invented sport of “pig chasing”. Although perhaps not yet a contender for the next Olympics, the officers involved certainly benefitted from a thorough workout. Their porcine quarry made its break for freedom along the busy A12, in Redbridge, North London a few days before Easter. It headed for a jogger, who leapt adroitly out of the way, before it risked its bacon in front of an advancing double decker bus. Fortunately for all concerned, the officers managed to capture the pig without them, or the animal, suffering injury.