Footballer Rio Ferdinand has always been known for his social commentary away from the football pitch. Most recently his outspokenness over the problem of violent crime and gang culture among young people has led to concerned expressions over cuts to the Police budget.
The Metropolitan Police is now facing a deficit of nearly £470 million and it is expected that there will be a reduction of the number of officers on the streets. According to sources there will be 900 fewer officers on London’s streets this financial year.
Ferdinand, whose childhood friend Rio McFarlane was shot and killed in South London earlier this month spoke of the danger and “massive impact” of a reduced Police presence around London, particularly in areas where young people are often victims of violent crime. Speaking to reporters on London Tonight he said:
“If kids don’t see policeman, or if adults don’t see policemen, they don’t feel safe.”
He further added:
“If they’re going to start taking these things away, making cuts on these things one by one we could turn into countries we’ve looked at in the past and looked down our noses at. Hopefully, it’s not going to be a downward spiral”
By Richard Sudan