Rory Stewart will triple the number of local police if he is elected Mayor of London in May – and resign if he can’t cut violent crime.

The former Conservative leadership hopeful yesterday (Wednesday) promised a sergeant, three constables, and two community support officers in every policing ward in the city.

It comes as his polling revealed that most Londoners don’t feel safe on their own street after dark.

There are currently just two officers in each of London’s 629 police wards – double the number when Sadiq Khan took office, but down on the six officers seen under former mayor Ken Livingstone.

Mr Stewart said he would triple the current figure within a year if elected.

He also plans to triple the number of voluntary special constables by the end of his first term.

And he pledged to introduce a ‘surge’ team of 1,000 officers, so police can respond to crime anywhere in the city.

The former MP for Penrith and the Border said he would quit as Mayor if he couldn’t cut violence within two years.

More than half of Londoners don't feel safe on their own street after dark

Three quarters of Londoners agree that crime is out of control, and has got worse since Mr Khan was elected, Mr Stewart’s polling found.

More than four in five parents worry about their children being out on their own after dark, according to the Populus survey.

And only a third of residents believe the current Mayor has got a grip of crime.

Some 80 per cent want more neighbourhood police – rising to more than 90 per cent among over 45s, the poll found.

Mr Stewart’s plans would require an extra 2,350 officers – he would use the 1,369 officers already promised by the Home Office, along with 1,000 in the current Mayor’s budget.

A source in the independent’s team said it would also be “sensible” to consider reopening local police stations.

Mr Stewart said said he would “grip this crisis immediately” as Mayor.

He said: “The police do an incredible job, but too often they have been diverted to centralised task forces and specialist units, and the relationship between local police and local people is lost.

“I will turn this around by emphasising the value of those relationships – ensuring that every Londoner knows the name and number of their local neighbourhood team.”

Former Met Detective Chief Inspector Clive Driscoll – who brought Stephen Lawrence’s killers to justice – said he supported Mr Stewart’s plans because a strong local force is “the only form of policing that truly works”.

He said: “Local officers are the bedrock of neighbourhood policing, which for too long has been stripped back to its bare bones.”

 These simplistic shows of force would risk repeating mistakes of the past

Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey accused Mr Stewart of “simply repackaging” planned police increases from the Home Office.

He said: “I have pledged to fund an additional 2,300 police officers on top of the increase from Government.

“This would deliver a record number of police on London’s streets and is the first step towards getting crime under control.”

Liberal Democrat Siobhan Benita said she was “not surprised” by the fears highlighted in Mr Stewart’s poll.

She said: “That’s why I’ve already committed to reopening police stations in local communities and to putting more police in neighbourhood teams including having liaison officers attached to every secondary school.”

But Ms Benita said visible policing on its own “isn’t enough”, and she can offer a “whole package” approach to crime.

Green mayoral candidate Sian Berry, also co-leader of the party nationally, said “parachuting squads of unfamiliar faces” into communities was not a solution.

She said cuts to local policing were the result of Conservative austerity – of which Rory Stewart was a part when he served as a Government minister.

While a Conservative, Mr Stewart voted for every cut to police and preventative youth services.

Ms Berry said: “These simplistic shows of force would risk repeating mistakes of the past, making communities in crisis feel further under siege.”

A spokesperson for Sadiq Khan said: “The Mayoral election is a two-horse race between Sadiq and the Tory candidate.

“Anyone who wants a Mayor who will stand up for London and be both tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime should back Sadiq.”