Johnson said that as mayor from 2008 to 2016 he “cut the murder rate by 50%”, that knife crime went down, and he credited a rise in police stop-and-search operations with helping reduce crime.
The reality is more mixed. The murder rate fell significantly, if not by 50% – from 155 in 2008 to a low of 94 in 2014. It did then start to rise again under Johnson, reaching 109 by 2016. The statistics for total knife offences varied over the eight years, but were only marginally lower at the end – 9,937 in total for 2008-09, against 9,738 for 2015-16.