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Former Scotland Yard Detective Peter Bleksley has backed Ed Sheeran's claims about "sketchy London", claiming the city is becoming "increasingly lawless".

In an interview with American stand-up comedian, Theo Von, the Shape Of You singer said "every area of London" is at risk of robbery and theft.

When asked what the most "dangerous area" of the capital is, Sheeran replied: "I'd say every every area of London, literally every area is sketchy. The nice areas are sketchy, the bad areas are sketchy, but you just have to not do stupid s***.

"If you wander around with a Louis Vuitton duffel bag and a £200,000 watch, you are going to get robbed. Just don't do that."

Reacting to the claims, former Scotland Yard Detective Peter Bleksley admitted that although Sheeran is right in his claims, he joked that it "makes him sick to his stomach" to be siding with the pop star.

Discussing the remarks, Bleksley told GB News host Camilla Tominey: "It sickens me to the very pit of my stomach to say that Ed Sheeran is right.

"I want anybody who's been successful and can afford a luxury watch and a nice bag to be able to walk around our great city without fear of being robbed. But sadly, the crime statistics show that there are increasing numbers of violent crime in the city."

Noting the rising crime rates in London in recent years, Bleksley stated that the "very unpalatable beat of increasing crime goes on", including a "huge amount of fraud" and "other serious crimes against women and girls".

When asked by Camilla how crime in London has changed over the last 20 years, Bleksley confirmed that it is "no longer the case" that people "feel safe when walking around Oxford Circus and Bond Street".


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Bleksley explained: "The actual truth of the matter is some of the more better to do areas were policed better by the Metropolitan Police than others. Officers would particularly be put in places where there was great wealth.

"Now, unfortunately, the truth of the matter is so much crime is unreported and this is really kind of the elephant in the room. There are so many people who I speak to on a daily basis who are victims of crime in our great city.

"And when I say to them in a pleading tone, 'did you report this to the police?' The answer, inevitably, is 'what's the point?'"

Camilla said the inability Londoners feel in reporting crimes is a "terrible indictment" and also highlighted how 600 police stations have been closed across the UK in recent years as a result of Conservative leadership.

Bleksley then concluded that the collapse of the Metropolitan Police is not just a result of the station closures, but also the "academic takeover" in 1997.

The former detective told GB News: "The essence of the collapse of the policing model as it used to be was 20 to 30 years ago, when the academics took over.

"Senior police officers these days are loaded with degrees and MBAs and suchlike, and if you want to get promoted through the ranks, you have to be an academic. Whereas practical policing people who have worked their way steadily through the ranks will be bypassed, because they simply do not have the necessary academic qualifications. Academia is everywhere in policing and it's never been in a worse state."

When asked about the rise in low-level crimes such as shoplifting across the UK, Bleksley concluded that "the streets are increasingly lawless and policing is in chaos".

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