Reducing violence in London

MQT on 2014-09-17
Session date: 
September 17, 2014
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


What are you doing to ensure that the Cardiff Model is implemented across London?


Answer for Reducing violence in London

Answer for Reducing violence in London

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  This is very important.  We are trying to do the Cardiff Model in London.  One of the difficulties is that there are 51 accident and emergency facilities (A&Es) or walk-in centres in London compared to only one in Cardiff.  The basic objective is a very good one, which is to ensure that A&Es share information about whatever it happens to be - female genital mutilation (FGM) or stabbings or whatever - with the police, so that we can bring perpetrators of crimes to justice.  The MPS and the hospitals are working together on this to try to speed it up.  There is resistance and there are difficulties of the kind that you and I know only too well, but we are trying to overcome them and we do take it very seriously indeed. 

Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  The Cardiff Model is proven to work.  An audit of A&Es sharing data on violent crime in areas where the Cardiff Model is applied - which is not just in Cardiff - shows that hospital admissions owing to violence are reduced by 42%.  It is very significant, indeed.  When can we expect every hospital in London to be sharing this crime information?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Do not forget that violent crime has also come down in London quite considerably but ‑‑ 

Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  We will get on to that, but when can we expect every hospital ‑‑ 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I cannot give you a date now for the perfection of the Cardiff Model in London, but we are working rapidly to overcome the barriers that exist.  One of the problems is information technology (IT).  Some of the hospitals say they cannot capture the relevant data because of their IT systems.  There is a problem in that A&E receptionists are often reluctant to get into a police-style interrogation of the person presenting, particularly when they are in a very busy or stressed environment.  Those are some of the problems we are facing.  Through the London Crime Reduction Board and through the London Health Board, we are determined, as you rightly desire, to get the Cardiff Model rolled out across London. 

Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  It is just about sharing anonymised information.  Over the years I have asked you ten questions on this issue and every answer you have given me has been different.  In 2012, you assured me that all A&E departments are either operating or developing approaches to this.  In response to a recent question you said that 13 out of 29 hospital trusts across London still have no evidence of a data-sharing programme and only 2 trusts in the whole of London are sharing data of the quality recommended by the College of Emergency Medicine. 

Given that if you look at this year alone violent crime in London has risen by 37%, and violent crime is one of your seven priority crimes, why are you not making the implementation of this model a priority? 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I do not recognise that figure of 37%. 

Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  That is this year.  The figures from the Datastore show that violent crime has gone up.  Why are you not making the implementation of this a priority? 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  We are making implementation of the Cardiff Model a priority.  It is not quite as easy in London as I would like, but we are certainly getting on with it.  I certainly do not recognise your figures for violent crime.  Violent crime, along with virtually every other crime type, has been coming down and continues to fall. 

Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  Implementing the Cardiff Model was part of your 2012 Crime Manifesto.  You see it as a smarter approach, particularly to looking at things like alcohol and crime.  We are still waiting six-and-a-half years on for this to be implemented in London.  Will you show some leadership here and pull together the chief executives of the hospital trusts to really show how seriously you take this issue?  It is proven to work.  We could see a reduction in violence across London by about 42% if the police are able to target their resources smartly.  Will you agree to get a roundtable of these chief executives and get this resolved once and for all? 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I can assure you that through the London Health Board and through the London Crime Reduction Board, we will continue to push for this.  I am prepared to accept your criticisms, Caroline, in the sense that it is disappointing that at the moment only 30% of the data about crimes from A&Es and walk-in centres is actually shared with the police.  That means there is a huge amount of information that is going missing.  There are difficulties in collecting and distributing that data.  There are often ethical difficulties that we need to think about or there are difficulties which some people think are ethical difficulties, if you see what I mean. 

I am very much of a view that all such information should be immediately distributed and there should be absolutely no hesitation whatever.  We are not at that position yet, but your criticisms are well made and we are getting on with it. 

Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  It would be really great if perhaps you personally could show how seriously you take this issue.  Maybe, even if you are not prepared to meet them, you could write to the hospital trusts.  These issues can all be overcome.  We know this model works.  Try to bang their heads together to make sure this is rolled out as soon as possible. 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  What I will undertake to do - because you have made a very good point - is I will look at exactly what is happening at the moment to try to accelerate this.  I am told it is very -- 

Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  We have been told that for years. 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  -- difficult. I will write to the heads of the hospital trusts and if I do not get satisfaction about the pace at which they want to make the changes, then we should have a summit on the issue.