London's knife crime problem

MQT on 2015-07-15
Session date: 
July 15, 2015
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


In June this year the Evening Standard reported 23 stabbings across London. Out of these 23 victims at least one has died, one was a twelve year old boy and one fourteen year old boy was stabbed by a thirteen year old.  It is clear that London has a knife crime problem and a serious youth violence problem. Instead of citing percentage changes in recorded offences across London can you tell me what real work is being done to tackle this issue?  What organisations have you met with to get a picture of the problem?


Answer for London's knife crime problem

Answer for London's knife crime problem

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Reducing knife crime is a key ambition in the London Crime Reduction Board's Strategic Ambitions for London - Gangs and Serious Youth Violence. The recent stabbings are a concern, however, knife crime in London has decreased and last year was at its lowest level in seven years. Knife crime related deaths are also half the level of 2008.

In partnership with boroughs and the other London Crime Reduction Board Partners, there is a huge amount of activity that MOPAC and the Metropolitan Police Service is doing to combat Knife Crime. For example, In June 2015 the MPS launched Operation Teal, led by Trident to improve performance in two key MPS gang crime indicators: Knife Injury Victims under 25 years and Number of gun discharges. In the last 9 months, the MPS has undertaken almost 10,000 weapons sweeps. MOPAC has also spent £6.8 million this year to address gangs and serious violence. Information on the work being undertaken can be found on the MOPAC website.

The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime is in regular contact with a wide range of stakeholders in order to collectively tackle knife crime across London, including recent meetings with MPs to discuss their concerns, and meetings with Major Trauma Centres, Redthread and the Air Ambulance at the Royal London Hospital.

In addition, MOPAC and the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime have regular meetings with a range of Voluntary and Community Sector organisations including the Safer London Foundation. Most recently, MOPAC met with 43 Voluntary and Community Sector organisations in preparation for releasing the invitation to tender for a gang exit and resettlement service.

I have also successfully lobbied Government for tougher sentences to help deal with the knife carrying culture ensuring that any offender caught in possession of a knife for a second time will automatically face a custodial sentence. This will become part of sentencing guidelines this month.