Is London safer than the Rwandan capital of Kingali? I have my doubts, says Kelvin MacKenzie


Is London safer than Rwandan capital Kingali?

Kelvin Mackenzie

By Kelvin Mackenzie

Published: 23/04/2024

- 13:37

Kelvin MacKenzie delivers his verdict on the Rwanda bill

I know Andrew Mitchell. A sensible Tory. And there’s not many of them about. So, when the Deputy Foreign Secretary goes on the BBC’s Radio Four programme Today and says Kingali, the capital of Rwanda, is ‘’ arguably safer than London’’ you have to sit and listen.

Stats are hard to come by on this issue, but the last Gallup poll reported that 80% of Rwandans ‘’feel safe walking home alone at night. That is similar to the numbers saying the same about the UK.

But that’s not really the story. The truth is that London is quite a dangerous place, with the crime rate in the capital 32% higher than the rest of the country. I very much doubt that 80% of women walking down St Martin’s Lane at 11pm would say they felt safe.

You would certainly be quite mad to wear an expensive watch in the Leicester Square area. That overpowering smell of weed is not paid for by simply working hard.

I have come across a couple of anecdotes of late which would tell me that crime is affecting tourism at the top end of Mayor Khan’s London. I am told that in order to attract the high rollers to gamble here (they bet in hundreds of thousands of pounds and are much valued) the casinos used to send Rolls Royces, Bentleys or Range Rovers with blacked out windows to pick up their clients from Heathrow.

The casinos have now stopped doing this as the cars were being followed by crime gangs who would then follow the cars to the hotel where the wealthy punter was staying. The potential for mugging was obvious. Apparently, the spielers have now traded down to a non-descript BMW.

Further, I hear that due to a stabbing of a wealthy Arab in the Harrods area, the word has gone out in the Middle East that London is to be avoided and that New York is more attractive and safer.

Hard to believe that but I do know that upmarket hotels in the area, who rely on these huge Saudi families to fill their rooms, are seeing vacancies over the last couple of years where they had never seen them before.

So, is Kingali a better bet than London?

Rwanda is a small place, about twice the size of Yorkshire and as long as you keep out of politics the chance of you being affected by any crime is low. They don’t have the huge surge of knife crime which has so blighted London. Nor do they have the drugs issue, but they do have a running conflict with Congo which has kept the murder rate high.

The reality is that Rwanda doesn’t have the number of illegal migrants we have here. Latest stats indicate that there are a staggering 215,000 ‘’undocumented’’ ( i.e.illegal) immigrants in London.

I am working on the assumption that these illegals don’t have regular jobs and work cash-in-hand and therefore liable to be seduced by the easy money of the drug trade or similar crimes.

I see that there has been surge in Vietnamese migrants coming across the Channel, meaning that all the good work done with the Albanians has been undone. I often wondered how all the nail bars round my way were only ever run by Vietnamese. Surely, they aren’t illegals?

The Home Office has just disclosed there has been a tenfold increase in the Vietnamese coming across the water. They now make up a fifth of all small boat crossing this year.

Not sure how many nail bars there are in Kingali, but with a Full Set/Overlay Pink and White costing £42 I imagine the resourceful Vietnamese will be opening shops all over the city.

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