A LIB Dem councillor has called on the Mayor of Lewisham to stand down after the borough was deemed the least peaceful place in the whole of UK.

Lewisham ranked as the worst place in the UK Peace Index, which looks at the levels of peace – defined as the absence of violence and the fear of violence – within the UK from 2003 to 2012.

Councillor Duwayne Brooks, who will be challenging Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock at the next local election, says the study shows the mayor is “failing” and it would be “selfish” for him to continue to hold the post.

But Sir Steve Bullock, who declined to comment on Cllr Brooks’s call, says the majority of Lewisham residents are satisfied with life in the borough and the council is working hard to make it more “peaceful”.

Cllr Brooks said: “Come on, 11 years of leadership in this borough – it is quite clear that the mayor has failed.

“We need new leadership. I think it is selfish and unfair to allow Lewisham to suffer another year under this mayor.

“I am calling on him to resign.”

Having grown up in Deptford, Cllr Brooks says he knows a lot of the Lewisham gangsters already and his leadership would mean they would be able to relate to someone in charge.

Lewisham’s homicide rate – including murder, manslaughter and infanticide – was more than twice the national average in the report at 2.5 in 2012.

Knife crime, social deprivation, and a high number of teenage pregnancies were all deemed major problems in Lewisham with Lewisham Central ward seeing the bulk of the borough’s crime.

Despite decreases in weapons crime and violent crime in recent years, the number of incidents remained well above national trends, the report concluded.

Reponding to the study, Sir Steve said: “The key message of this survey is that everywhere in the UK is becoming more peaceful and that is clearly something to celebrate, though there remains much more to do.

“In our own recent research of people in Lewisham, 91 per cent tell us that that they feel safe during the day and 83 per cent tell us that they are satisfied with Lewisham as a place to live.”

He went on to say the report shows poverty and economic opportunity are closely linked to peace and so it was “no surprise” the less peaceful areas were also the most economically challenged.

He added: “We are working very hard to support our community to accelerate this rate of progress to become more peaceful and are very proud of the efforts of people like the Mizen family and 16-year-old Camilla Yahaya and the Young Citizens project who are working hard to spread that message of peace.”

Labour MP for Lewisham Deptford Joan Ruddock– who covers Lewisham Central –  added that the figures are misleading and there are many cultural activities happening in the borough which make it a positive place.

Ms Ruddock said: “Over the last three years there has been a significant drop in crime.

“The numbers involved in violent crime are really quite small compared to the population. Most people are not affected by the violent crime and I think most people think they have quite a good quality of life.

“It would be a shame if this created the wrong impression because I don’t think you can just take crime figures and say that determines what everybody thinks about it.

“Lewisham Central is a hotspot but It is the centre of town and town centres always do attract criminals.”

She went on to praise police for targeting the hotspots and tackling gangs and said the biggest issue was getting young victims of crime to cooperate with police and not fear repercussions from rival groups.