Knife Crime in London (Supplementary) [2]

Session date: 
December 16, 2015
Question By: 
Andrew Boff
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Andrew Boff AM:  Mr Mayor, I absolutely welcome your words with regard to some of the initiatives that are taken with regard to trying to tackle knife crime.  They tend to be about politicians wanting to be seen as though they are trying to do something.

There are parts of London where youth clubs cannot get funding unless they push under the noses of young people posters about how they should not carry knives.  They bring to the centre of the debate, “What is the best way for me as a young person to oppose authority?  What they are telling me to do is not carry knives”.  The result has been that the only way to get that funding in some parts of London is to have a very rigorous knife crime agenda within your youth club or organisation.

I very much value what you have said.  What we need is to concentrate more on funding generic youth work, not targeted youth work, because you are actually providing an incentive for people to do what you are asking them not to do when you target.

Supplementary To: 


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

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

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  I am afraid that there is a grain of truth in that.

Andrew Boff AM:  I welcome your words on that and thank you.  Realise that you do have support for that approach.

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Alas.  There are lots of ways of looking at this.  The scourge of knife crime is something that must be tackled with interventions, that I have said, that are helping the kids to find alternative lives and to get them out of the madness of the gang culture.  That is absolutely vital.  We need to come down very hard on the key gang nominals and on people who carry knives.  That is also vital.

There is a question about the psychological efficacy of some programmes that I have seen.  I will just say that.  This is a very emotional and a very emotive subject.  Romeo and Juliet is about this subject, basically.  You have to be very careful in how you approach it.  Let me put it that way.