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Knife Crime in Westminster North

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 17th October 2019.

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Photo of Tony Devenish Tony Devenish Conservative

Local campaigner Jamie MacFarlane is looking into the serious rise of knife crime in Westminster North. Does the Mayor share Jamie's view that stop and search is key to saving young lives by trusting front line Police officers judgement on stop and search?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

I offer my full support to the police in conducting stop and search when it is intelligence-led and proportionate. Officers absolutely must use their judgement every day, but there does need to be appropriate accountability.

It is important that officers feel confident in conducting stop and search which is why the Met Police have invested in a range of training materials for their officers including unconscious bias and judgement-based exercises that practically work through the many issues and considerations that must be borne in mind when using these powers. Where grounds exist officers should be conducting stop and search.

Stop and search alone will not be enough to tackle the rise in knife crime which is why I’ve committed £1.5m to the Knife Crime Community Seed Fund to support communities in London disproportionately affected by knife crime. The funding aims to support grass-roots community groups involved in protecting young people and ridding our communities of violence. I have also, created the Young Londoners Fund which is helping children and young people to fulfil their potential. Through the Young Londoners Fund, I have committed £45 million to supporting a wide range of local community projects providing activities for young Londoners.

As well as this, I have committed £6.8 million to fund the new Violence Reduction Unit (VRU). The VRU will include specialists in health, youth and social services to lead a long-term public health approach to tackle the causes of violent crime.