Knife Crime (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
June 20, 2019
Question By: 
Florence Eshalomi
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Florence Eshalomi AM:  Just on the stop and search, Mr Mayor, which sometimes is a contentious issue, especially in the two boroughs I represent where a disproportionate amount of young black men are stopped and searched inappropriately, but we know that stop-and-search, when intelligence-led, does work.  I have a group of students from St Michael’s sixth form in Bermondsey, and a big issue for them is around knife crime.


Can you talk about some of the other initiatives to help reduce knife crime about getting our young people engaged in positive activities from a younger age?

Supplementary To: 


Knife Crime (Supplementary) [1]

Knife Crime (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Absolutely.  On stop-and-search, though, it is really important to understand why the public are important.  If I stop and search you today unlawfully or in a manner that is not courteous, how can I expect you tomorrow to come forward with intelligence to help me fight crime?  That is what it has to be done properly.  The body-worn video is a game-changer.  That is part of the measures we are taking.


Other measures we are taking are police officers going to schools, being school support officers, having good relations with young people, diverting young people away from activities that are antisocial.  For example, over the last nine years the Conservative and Liberal Democratic Governments were responsible for massive cuts in councils which led to dozens and dozens of youth clubs closing down.  Thousands of young people have nowhere constructive to go to.  Dozens and dozens of youth workers have been out of jobs. 


We are reverting some of that with the Young Londoners Fund.  By itself it is not enough to fill the massive hole left behind.  You will have seen the Education Maintenance Allowance being gone, so 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds have no incentive or help to get to further education colleges.  We are also investing in mental health, and also we have to give young people constructive things to do.  Deal with not just the enforcement - really important - but also the root causes of violent crime as well: deep-seated problems, inequality, alienation, lack of opportunities.  It is really important.


Florence Eshalomi AM:  Thank you, Mr Mayor.