Politicians and the police have been urged to overhaul their efforts to tackle knife crime after official statistics compiled by one London Assembly member revealed that more than 1,200 Londoners were victims of victims of knife crime during the six-week General Election period.
The figures, which were compiled by Liberal Democrat AM Caroline Pidgeon, also show there were 441 victims of knife crime with injury between 26th March – 8th May and 789 recorded victims of serious youth violence in the capital.
Pidgeon, who is also her party’s candidate in next year’s mayoral election, says that despite an average of 40 reported knife crimes per day, knife crime “hardly got mentioned” during the election period.
In a wide-ranging report published today she lists 10 “practical recommendations” to help cut crime numbers, including greater awareness of knife crime in schools, collecting anonymous data about knife offences through A&E departments, and a greater use of knife arches and handheld metal detectors by the Met.
She also calls on Mayor Boris Johnson to review his anti-gang strategy to see whether it could be more effective in tackling knife culture and for the implementation of a multi-agency mental health strategy to support people affected by knife crime.
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.
“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.”