Knives: Crime

Home Office written question – answered at on 23 May 2024.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what (a) meetings and (b) other discussions he has had with the Mayor of London on knife crime in the last 12 months.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Minister of State, Home Department

The Home Secretary and Minister for Crime, Policing and Fire regularly meet with the Mayor of London and Police and Crime Commissioners to discuss crime and policing matters.

Since 2019, the Home Office has provided over £43m of funding for a Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) in London which is providing a multi-agency, preventative response designed to tackle the drivers of serious violence and knife crime in London. In addition, c.£8.1m has been awarded in 2024/25 to deliver the ‘Hotspot Response’ programme and enable additional, high visibility patrols and problem-solving tactics in the areas worst affected by serious violence and ASB.

Additionally, just under £1.3m has been awarded in 2023/24 to support delivery of the Serious Violence Duty in London.

Following a surrender scheme, the manufacture, supply, sale and possession of zombie-style knives and machetes that are designed to look intimidating but have no practical purpose will be outlawed from 24 September 2024.

Additionally, through the Criminal Justice Bill, we are providing more powers for police to seize knives held in private that they believe will be used for unlawful violence, increasing the maximum penalty for the offences of selling prohibited weapons and selling knives to under 18s and creating a new offence of possessing an article with blade or point or an offensive weapon with intent to commit unlawful violence.

We are also providing £3.5 million into the research, development, and evaluation of new technologies to reduce knife crime, including knife detection technologies. The Metropolitan Police has been given £547,863 for further live facial recognition mobile units to be deployed across their 75 London hotspots.

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