Violent Crime in London (Supplementary) [2]

Session date: 
December 9, 2014
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
Boris Johnson (Mayor of London) & Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis)


A couple of very specific questions here around violent crime in London.  Recorded knife crime with injury offences has gone up 51% in the last six months.  We have had some terrible recent incidents across London.  Given the success of the London-wide firearms amnesty last month, and this current hike in knife offences, would you consider launching a similar amnesty for knives in London?

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Violent Crime in London (Supplementary) [2]

Answer for Violent Crime in London (Supplementary) [2]

Answered By: 
Boris Johnson (Mayor of London) & Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis)

We did.  I mean Operation Blunt did take about 10,000 knives off the street, I remember that


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  I am just wondering whether it is time to have another knife amnesty.  Is that something you will consider?


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I seem to remember –


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  Yes or no?


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  We have knife bins already and we have --


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  -- something promotional that you might consider, given this spike.


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Yes, I mean to  the best of my --


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  That is fine, yes, that is wonderful, thank you.


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Yes, of course, Caroline --


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  No, that is great, I have another specific question.


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  To the best of my knowledge --


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  No, no, Mr Mayor.


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  -- knife crime is actually falling. I just want to correct you.


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  All right, the Commissioner, I would like to ask something.  No, no, no, I asked, I just said yes or no, you said yes, that is wonderful.


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Overall knife crime is falling, by the way, it is very important to get that --


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  Well those are not the figures I have.  Commissioner, could I just ask you something.  I have recently asked the Mayor about rolling out the Cardiff model in London.  The Mayor has now written to all the chief executives of London Hospital Trusts to try to encourage this anonymised emergency department data sharing.  What work have you done to try to make sure the hospitals fully engage in this, because we know that it can see a drop in violent crime by about 42%?


Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis):  OK, I mean first of all in terms of just on the knife crime, I think you just have to be a little bit careful about over-interpreting the last six months, because as you know it is quite seasonal, therefore if you take the last time it got darker, then there is always a possibility that we misunderstand those trends and I think it is important that we make those proper assessments.


In terms of the general idea of amnesty, I think they are a broadly good idea, but less effective with knives on the grounds as it is always illegal to have a gun, but it can be legal to have a knife. Therefore  it is great to get rid of them, however I think there is a limited effect of them.


In terms of the point about data sharing, we are constantly working with the health service to try to improve that relationship so that we get a consistent reporting on, whether it be wounding, rape, all the things that can get reported as health.  We get some good work, I think probably we would all agree that we could probably see more consistency across what can be a bit of a patchwork quilt for health across London.


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  Lovely, thank you.