• New report reveals the scale of knife crime in London
• Westminster politicians overlooked knife crime during the recent General Election
• A range of policies rarely considered by Westminster politicians are now needed to make London safer for young people
Westminster politicians are hiding from the real facts about the level of knife crime in London and its impact on young people, is the hard hitting finding of a new report on knife crime undertaken by the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon.
Statistics gathered by the London Assembly Member reveal that during the six-week General Election period (26th March – 8th May) there were in London 789 recorded victims of serious youth violence, 1231 victims of knife crime and 441 victims of knife crime with injury. During this period there were the equivalent of 40 reported victims of knife crime a day, every day over the six week period. Yet during this critical period of public debate the issue of knife crime hardly got mentioned by Westminster politicians. Caroline Pidgeon’s report, based on extensive research and consultation with organisations such as The Ben Kinsella Trust and the charity Redthread puts forward 10 practical recommendations to effectively tackle knife crime, including:
• Taking the message about the need to tackle knife crime into every school in London - schools that overlook knife crime are ultimately not helping their children.
• The full implementation of the Cardiff Model, where anonymous data collected through A&E departments of knife offences is immediately shared with the police – leading to far more effective policing
• Greater funding for Redthread and other organisations that provide dedicated youth workers who focus on intervention in every London A&E
• The MPS making greater use of knife arches and handheld metal detectors, using data collected by A&E Departments which identify knife
• Calling for the Mayor of London to review and renew his anti-gang strategy
• Introduce a multi-agency mental health approach should be taken to supporting people affected by knife crime
Following the latest horrific stabbings at a school in West Dulwich involving two teenage boys Caroline Pidgeon commented: “In London over the last decade 125 young people have been fatally stabbed on our streets. This alone is a devastating statistic but we should also remember that for every young person who is murdered another 20 are admitted to hospital with knife offences.
“The Mayor and Westminster politicians can no longer claim that current policies are working when knife crime with injury offences rose by 14% in the last year.
“It is time we finally recognised just how serious knife crime is on the lives of young people. “We need to redouble our efforts to prevent such violence on our streets. The policies of simply responding to knife crime are neither adequate or effective.”
“We need real action not rhetoric to tackle the scourge of knife crime across London’.
Download the full report here (large file, about 2MB, will take a little while to load)