The number of Londoners associating the Mayor of London with policing in the capital has fallen since Boris Johnson came to office according to the latest Annual London Survey.
The number of those who say they feel “very safe” remains at 31%, with a further 47% saying they feel “fairly safe” while 64% say they are “not very worried” or “not at all worried” about crime in their area.
However, while Londoners are feeling safer, they’re not crediting the Mayor for their growing sense of security.
While the percentage of those saying responsibility for policing lay with the Government remained flat – 37% in 2011 compared with 38% last year – the percentage of people answering ‘Mayor/Greater London Authority’ fell from 26 to 21 in the same period.
The result threatens to undermine the Mayor’s election hope of being rewarded by Londoners for falling crime levels in the capital.
The electoral gains from London Cycle Hire scheme is also questionable. Of the 1,406 people interviewed, less than half of one per cent said they used the bikes regularly – defined by the survey as “at least once a month.”
There was more bad news for the Mayor on fares. The percentage of those saying cheaper bus and tube fares were “most in need of improvement” has shot up from 36% in 2009 to 48% in the current year.
Since coming to office in 2008 Johnson has presided over a series of fare increases.
Despite apparent unhappiness about fare levels, almost half of Londoners – 46% – say transport is the best thing about living in London, the third consecutive rise.
The percentage of respondents answering ‘reducing traffic congestion’ as needing improvement has fallen to 37 since last year (43), though it is still higher than 2009’s 31%.
Despite the Mayor’s past rhetoric on bus crime, the number of people who list “improved personal safety on buses, the tube and trains” as an area needing to be addressed has increased by a third since 2009 from 12% to 16%.
The London Assembly’s low public profile continues to be a problem with just 1% saying they know “a great deal” about the body which holds the Mayor to account on their behalf.
Despite the Mayor’s high profile, the number associating him with the Olympics has fallen from 25% in 2009 to 16% in 2011. In the same period the number who think central Government is responsible for the games has risen from 27% to 38%.
The number of Londoners fairly or very satisfied “with the way Boris Johnson is doing his job as Mayor of London” is 32% while the number who say they are “neither satisfied nor dissatisfied” is 33%. Those who are fairly or very dissatisfied is 15%, almost half the number of those happy with his performance.
The percentage of those who say the Mayor is “doing a good job” is up from 11% in 2009 to 19%.
The economy is a growing issue for Londoners with 17% saying they were concerned about the cost of living. 14% say they are concerned by unemployment and 24% by the cost of housing.
The number saying they are concerned by traffic congestion has more than doubled from 10% in 2009 to 22% in 2011.
Three percent of Londoners currently get information from the Greater London Authority’s website, just one percent more than those who look to non-City Hall websites and social media sites for information about the GLA’s work.
The Mayor’s official Twitter and Facebook presence is the source of choice for just one percent of Londoners.
Publishing the survey and his annual report, Boris Johnson said: “I share the concerns of Londoners and it is my job as Mayor to ensure the capital remains a thriving, dynamic and vibrant world-class city which is strong, resilient and forward-thinking in its outlook.
“As my Annual Report highlights, we have achieved a lot over the past year, such as freezing the Council Tax for the third consecutive year and increasing funding for policing, but we can’t rest on our laurels as there is still much to do, not least the challenge of staging the best Games in Olympic history and creating a lasting legacy for all Londoners.”
Next month Londoners will have a chance to question the Mayor when he holds the statutory ‘state of London’ debate at Westminster’s Methodist Central Hall on June 2nd.