WASHINGTON – London’s Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, wants to address rising violence and unrest in the U.K. capital with a campaign of censorship, calling on YouTube to take down videos about gang violence and knife crime.
London is indeed in the midst of a violent crime wave, with knives being the weapon of choice.
Knife crimes have risen by 24 percent over the last year in London, and crime is up in almost every other category as well, according to figures released by the Metropolitan police.
Social media platforms must toughen their guidelines & remove violent videos that encourage crime. pic.twitter.com/MZkwcVpW3q
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) August 9, 2017
So Khan wants the information about such issues put behind a wall.
“Social media and the Internet can be used to inflame tensions and escalate violence quicker than ever before, and these videos are a shocking example of the glamorization of gang culture,” Khan warned earlier this week.
But are gangs the only reason for the surge in violence? Statistics say no.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe spoke at a knife-crime conference in London recently on the reality of the violence.
“By and large, it used to be gang members, but that’s not the case now,” he said. “We’ve seen an increase in the number of other young people carrying knives, young people with no links to gangs. So at the moment, some 75 percent – three quarters – of all knife injuries among the under-25s are not gang-related. The 25 percent that are – this is around 450 offenses in the last year, so about one a day – tend to be more serious, and gang members remain the most dangerous knife carriers, but the changing trend is clearly a concern.
“The reasons, so far as we can determine by talking to suspects, are self-protection, status, protecting criminal interests – such as a drugs business – and a culture of fear. This can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, where young people equip themselves with a knife and in doing so significantly up the ante of their chances of becoming a knife victim,” Hogan-Howe concluded.
Why are young Londoners increasingly feeling the need to protect themselves?
According to a “man on the street,” Wayne, 25, a former gang member, the true cause is the recent influx of migrants from Somalia and the Congo, the Weekly Standard reports.
“In the last 10 years, since the Somalis and the Congolese came to London, they taught us a whole new level of violence,” Wayne said in an interview.
“These people had seen family members mutilated so when they said, ‘I’m gonna smash you up,’ us guys would be shouting, ‘Yo blud, wot you mean?’ and they would just pull out a blade and juk [stab] you in the chest. It upped the speed and level of violence for us British-born guys. We had to arm up to protect ourselves. It created an upward spiral,” Wayne continued.
At least 114,000 foreign-born Somalis reside in the U.K, and a majority reside in London, according to the Office for National Statistics.
There are also at least 9,000 Congolese people in the U.K., according to the 2001 census, the vast majority in London. As BBC notes, this number is dubious as “increases in people seeking refuge and removals of failed asylum seekers mean that the census figure should be treated with caution.”
It is notoriously difficult to track crime from specific migrant communities, but from the information available, knife crime is rife among a population that would include the Congolese and Somali communities.
Fifty-nine percent of knife crime offenders are from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, 95 percent of knife crime offenders are male, and 60 percent are under 25, according to the London Guardian.
U.K. authorities have an extensive history of censoring rather than addressing serious concerns with recent migrants, as WND has reported extensively in the past.
After the London Bridge terror-attack, perpetrated by a British-born Muslim, a Moroccan immigrant and a failed Moroccan refugee, British law-enforcement social media accounts made it clear they would go after those who posted anti-Muslim content on the Internet.
“Hate crime can take many forms including verbal or online abuse on social media. If you see it, report it,” police in Cheshire, a county in northwest England, tweeted in the aftermath of the attack.
British police arrested 25 people for “hate crimes” following the attack that killed eight and wounded another 48. Meanwhile, 12 potential terrorists arrested in connection with the London attack and 22 arrested in connection with the similar Manchester terror attack in May were released without charges.
Khan is also known for his now infamous “part and parcel” remark in which he downplayed the threat of terrorism as a normal part of life in a major city.