Knife Crime (Supplementary) [2]

Session date: 
January 18, 2018
Question By: 
Jennette Arnold OBE
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Jennette Arnold OBE AM:  Thank you very much.  Mr Mayor, can I just make a quick comment before I ask my question?  Can I just feed back from a meeting of my Independent Advisory Group (IAG) in Hackney because you mentioned Hackney earlier?  I was there this week and let me just say this.  At this IAG - and I have been a member now for 17 years - we have had some stuff in Hackney and all of us around that table totally endorsed our Borough Commander’s implementation of stop-and-search and activities under Operation Sceptre, which included knife sweeps, working in the community and finding out the knife hotspots and looking to target habitual knife offenders.

 

I do not apologise for supporting that IAG.  I am not going to be lectured by anybody about the importance of the IAG and I certainly would not sit here and ask a ridiculous question like, “Can you guarantee that no child ‑‑

 

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Thank you.

 

Jennette Arnold OBE AM:  ‑‑ and no young person is going to die from a knife crime?”  That is not where we should be.  That is not the question.

 

I am speaking from knowing, and have met this year, families, both those who have lost their loved ones and those who are grieving because their loved ones are now serving numbers of years in jail.  It is usually two sides of the coin here.  It is one fatality and one perpetrator and the families and friends around those two individuals.

 

That is for you a guarantee that you can make that this issue is going to remain at the top of your agenda in terms of ensuring that we are going to be working with London Councils and every partner to find different tools and different ways of bringing some understanding to our young people to say, “A knife wound damages your organs, cuts your veins, cuts your arteries and you die, and so find a way away from knife use”.

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Knife Crime (Supplementary) [2]

Answer for Knife Crime (Supplementary) [2]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Chair, firstly, thank you for your comments.  It is good to have sensible, responsible, well-informed comments from Assembly Members in this area.  One of the things that all this has in common is young lives being wasted.  These are young lives being wasted whether you carry a knife or whether you are a victim of knife crime.  You will be aware, as someone who knows their community, of the overlap between in those carrying knives and those who are victims of knives.  If you had a Venn diagram, there would be an overlap, I am afraid.  That is why it needs to have a holistic approach.

 

I went back to - they did not like it - the approach of central Government in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, helping local authorities, helping the police, helping communities to try to grapple with this issue.  It is very difficult, though, when local authorities have lost 40% of their budgets.

 

Jennette Arnold OBE AM:  Absolutely, yes.

 

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  It is very difficult when the police have lost more than £1 billion of their budget.  It is very difficult when there are fewer community support officers.  It is difficult when there is increased social media taking place with young people glorifying knife crime.  These are complex issues.  A flippant approach to give a soundbite to be in the newspaper or to have 30 seconds on BBC or ITV London news is not a responsible way to approach this.  I welcome the approach, Chair, if you forgive me for saying so, taken by the Chair of the Assembly and by sensible well-informed Members of the Assembly today.

 

Jennette Arnold OBE AM:  Thank you.