Serious and Violent Crime (Supplementary) [2]

Session date: 
May 17, 2018
Question By: 
Navin Shah
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Navin Shah AM:  Mr Mayor, in my patch - I will start with Harrow, which is considered to be one of the safest boroughs in London - on 6 May we had two youths aged 13 and 15 shot at.  In Brent, on 1 May [2018] on the border of Harrow, a man in his 30s was murdered in a shooting near Queensbury Station.  The community is shocked.  They are looking for reassurance and action.  Both the Chairman and you have mentioned the cross-party summit and the informal Police and Crime Committee meeting we had in April [2018], which were positive.  As you put it quite rightly, we were able to park our differences and we had a constructive dialogue.  There was consensus to what I would describe as a multiagency approach to drive down knife and gun crime and serious violent crime.


Now, you have quite rightly gone through a lot of measures involving a number of agencies today, which we support, and we want them to be successful and effective.  One thing I want to get your comments about is the area of how important it is to engage with communities and work with them.  As it was reported in the Evening Standard last week, the top MPS officer has stressed the need to gain help from communities to tackle the crime issue and also, as we heard in this Chamber from various leaders when we gathered in April, the importance of listening to the communities and gaining that confidence as well.


Can you tell us how you would take that important agenda forward so that, with everything we do, communities are on board, are reassured and have confidence in what the police are doing and what we are doing to drive down crime?

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Serious and Violent Crime (Supplementary) [2]

Answer for Serious and Violent Crime (Supplementary) [2]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Thank you for your question and what you said earlier on.  We have talked about the summit held here with senior politicians and the police.  What we have not talked about is another summit chaired by Matthew Ryder [QC], Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, with Sophie Linden [Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime] and me.  We brought together community groups in City Hall and the level of interest was such that we had to have overspill rooms in the committee rooms downstairs in addition to the Living Room.  Those communities were from across London, all different ages, all different ethnicities, all different socioeconomic backgrounds, some bereaved families, some victims of crime, others with expertise.  What was interesting was the number of people who had never been to City Hall before or been invited by City Hall to meet with them.


Additionally, we have gone out to communities and I have been to various meetings across London with Deputy Mayor Sophie Linden and Deputy Mayor Matthew Ryder to meet with the community because - you are right - without the community’s input we are not going to solve this.  I am going to give you some examples.


We need big brothers, big sisters, mums, dads, uncles and aunts saying to a young person who is thinking about leaving home with a knife, “Do not leave home with a knife.  You are not going to be more safe.  You will be less safe”, to the point where to protect the young person that person should think about ringing the police and saying, “You know what?  My son or my younger brother has left home with a knife.  Because I love him, I am telling you, the police, so that you can take action to stop him harming others or himself being harmed”.


Secondly, it is not just family members but the community that will provide the resilience young people need.  I know Assembly Member Bailey and I have talked about in the past “their other family” or the phrase that I have used is the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child”.  The community is the village and it has a big role to play in relation to making sure young people are resilient so that they do not join criminal gangs, do not think it is OK to carry a knife or carry a gun.  Also, the route map to being successful is not getting rich quick by being involved in criminality but working hard at school, getting an apprenticeship and doing the right thing.


I cannot amplify more your really important question about the role of the community and we are doing various things.  One thing I should just add, by the way, which is linked to the communities, is that we will shortly be having a meeting with chief executives, council leaders and council leads as well to make sure we get them because councillors often know their communities best out of everyone.


Navin Shah AM:  That is very welcome and thank you for that.  I will talk to Matthew [Ryder] and the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime.  It would be useful to see if we can have almost borough-wide engagement.  Yes, it is great to talk to local authorities and chief executives, etc, but talking with communities about how we can engage with them locally in their patches is very critical.  Thank you.