London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced a £13 million cash injection to tackle violent youth crime in the capital. 2018 has seen the highest number of fatal stabbings reported since 2010.
In a bid to provide education and decrease violence on the streets, Khan has revealed that 72 projects will receive funding.
“Young people, rather than having constructive things to do, are joining criminal gangs and think it’s okay to pick up knives,” Mr Khan said at Spotlight, a youth centre in Poplar.
The funding is expected to reach 42,000 young Londoners. At Spotlight, Khan also urged individuals with knowledge about violent attacks to cooperate with the police.
Knife Crime is at its Highest Since 2010
Image via Wikipedia Commons
“I’ve met too many victims of violent crime,” Khan said. “Too many bereaved families, it’s really important that we help the police when they carry out investigations.
“Why? Because a successful investigation leads to a dangerous criminal who thinks it’s okay to carry a knife being arrested, charged and prosecuted and taken off our streets.”
Knife crime offenses in London reached a total of 40,147 in the year ending March 2018, which is the highest figure since 2010, the earliest date where data is comparable.
This autumn has seen an increasingly dramatic spate of youth crime. In early November, five young men were killed in one week as a result of knife crime in the capital.
I’ve met too many victims of violent crime. Too many bereaved families.
In another direct bid to stamp out knife crime, senior police figures have recently proposed an extension of controversial stop and search powers.
As it stands, the police are required to have ‘reasonable grounds’ to perform a stop and search, which must be fully explained to the person in question. Police chiefs have proposed removing the ‘reasonable grounds’ requirement in order to reduce violent crime. Senior figures within the police have recently met with the Home Office to discuss using the controversial tactic more frequently.
At least thirty-five teenagers have been stabbed to death in London so far in 2018. This already exceeds the 2017 total, not including terrorism, and there’s a good proportion of the year left to go.
A Racially Discriminatory Practice
Image via Wikipedia Commons
Critics argue that stop and search is racially discriminatory, as statistics reveal that black and ethnic minority groups are more likely to be stopped and searched than white people. A report by Release, LSE, and StopWatch found that black people are eight times more likely to be stopped than white people.
MP for Tottenham David Lammy said: “Abandoning the ‘reasonable grounds’ condition would be a draconian step towards a police state.”
Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott MP also issued warnings about the practice: “Racism is against the law and should never be tolerated. Stop and search is already too easily done on the basis of racial profiling.”