Mother who took on Sadiq Khan says parents fear letting children out

‘You DON’T represent me Mr Mayor!’: Furious mother who took Sadiq Khan to task at State of London debate slams his ‘robotic’ answers and says parents fear to let their children play outside in crime-ridden capital

  • Hatice Kemal, 37, quizzed Sadiq Khan over crime at the State of London debate
  • The mother-of-one, from Greenwich, blasted the Mayor for his ‘robotic’ answers
  • Ms Kemal slammed his statistic quoting as ‘real families’ continue to suffer

Hatice Kemal, 37, is one of many parents who is afraid for her son’s safety when he leaves the house because of knife crime in the city

A furious mother who took on Sadiq Khan over knife crime in London has slammed the Mayor’s ‘robotic answers’ and statistic quoting as ‘real families’ continue to suffer. 

Hatice Kemal, 37, took a shot at the Mayor at the State of London Debate on Thursday night when she was given the opportunity to ask him a question.

The mother-of-one, from Greenwich, stood up and demanded answers from the Mayor over knife and gun crime rising across the capital.

Violent crime in the city soared by 21 per cent last year, with 1.3 million offences recorded by police, while knife crime rose by 22 per cent.

Ms Kemal quoted terrifying figures from February which claimed there were 250 knives seized from the streets in one week. 

Speaking to MailOnline after their heated exchange, Ms Kemal said she took the chance to let Mr Khan know how Londoners are feeling, especially those with children.

She said: ‘We have an out of touch Government who have people speaking on behalf of people like me and my son, but who do not resemble or represent me in any shape or form.

‘Our Mayor and those who work within Parliament do not understand this new knife culture and giving us statements like “they are all gang related or poverty driven” is ridiculous.

’Mr Khan was responding to another question about crime in London and giving us a very textbook, robotic answer which is why I felt the need to speak up.’

Ms Kemal blasted Mr Khan for ‘speaking in statistics’ which she believes is designed to confuse ordinary Londoners into believing action is being taken.

Now she has said it is no longer good enough.

She added: ‘When we are talking about real people, who have left real families behind and had their lives taken too soon, I simply wouldn’t, and couldn’t, have the audacity to use “we don’t have enough money” in the same sentence.

‘We want to hear “things are hard at the moment but we are going to press the Government hard”.’

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The debate on Thursday followed the London Knife Crime Summit – the same evening the capital saw its 81st murder.  

Ms Kemal has one son, aged 18, who recently finished his A-levels where he was studying government and politics.

Like many parents, Ms Kemal is now scared every time her son leaves the house.

Sadiq Khan was blasted for ‘speaking in statistics’ instead of explaining how Londoners can keep their children safe 

Hatice is a mother from Greenwich who blasted the London Mayor Sadiq Khan for leaving ‘real families’ to suffer while quoting statistics and failing to tackle knife crime

Responding to Ms Kemal, the Mayor said the Metropolitan Police were ‘overstretched and under-resourced’ and needed resident’s help to make the city safer.

He added: ‘It’s really important to look at the evidence. The evidence is that over the last four years across England and Wales, crime has been going up.

‘But across the last eight years, I know talking about numbers can sometimes appear like we don’t understand the concerns that Londoners have, but across the last eight years, we as a city have lost £720million from our budget.

‘Across the country, crime in London is going up less steeply than crime across England and Wales.’

However, Ms Kemal said it is not good enough to talk about cuts without action.

She said: ‘Community resources, community workers, youth workers, substance misuse teams, outreach teams, community police office, these were our ears and eyes years ago.

‘The government has removed these facilities from our communities.’

Mother-of-one Hatice said she is scared to let her son out, as are many parents, over the number of killings in the capital 

Ms Kemal also said there is a toxic relationship between some young people and police as teenagers are growing without trusting the officers. 

She said: ‘The Police are seen as a corrupt force nowadays who don’t appeal to our younger generations.

‘Attitudes to police need to change. Last night we heard about people who report crimes but never get any follow ups. This gives young people an impression that our police are not important. 

‘Policing needs reform.’ 

There have been more than 70 killings in London this year, many of them stabbings, and at one point the capital’s murder rate was higher than that of New York.

Last year there was a total of 80 fatal stabbings in the capital – the most in almost a decade.

Official figures show that 2017 was the worst year for knife deaths among young people since at least 2002.

Forty-six people aged 25 or under were stabbed to death in London, up by 21 compared with the previous year, according to police figures.

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