The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today reiterated in the strongest terms that the Parole Board decision to release John Worboys could not go unchallenged in order for his victims and all Londoners to have confidence in the system and feel safe on the streets of the capital. A judicial review of the decision to free Worboys from prison after serving 10 years for drugging and sexually assaulting female passengers is to begin today. Sadiq’s first priority is the safety of all Londoners, and he has been clear ever since the Parole Board decision to release Worboys that he must speak up for the victims and Londoners who feel threatened at the thought of his return to the capital’s streets. Victims and Londoners need to have full confidence in the criminal justice system and the agencies whose purpose it is to keep them safe and protected. That means keeping dangerous individuals off the streets, and Sadiq has been clear that the Parole Board’s shocking decision significantly undermines that confidence.
In this case, the Parole Board gave no reasons for its decision, relying on a rule which they say prevents publication of any information about their proceedings. The Mayor strongly believes that, for victims to have an effective voice, there must be transparency around the Parole Board’s reasons for release. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “As Mayor of London, it is my top priority to keep Londoners safe. I am morally and duty bound to do everything within my power to protect them from harm. John Worboys presents a significant threat to Londoners’ safety and on behalf of his victims and survivors, I felt I had to be involved. “Many of John Worboys’ victims live and work in London. I have been clear that he shouldn’t be released at the very least until the decision has been properly independently scrutinised and we are reassured that those in positions of power and responsibility are doing everything they can to keep all his victims, and the rest of us, safe.” Last week the Mayor published his new strategy to tackle violence against women and girls, and the misogynistic attitudes that allow these crimes to continue, backed by a record £44m investment up to 2020. Sadiq wants to make London the safest city in the world for women and girls, and that means every Londoner and every organisation playing their part – including the Parole Board and the criminal justice system.