London mayor Sadiq Khan has pledged £400,000 of new funding to tackle the growing problem of knife crime.
Official statistics show that knife crime in London increased by 16 per cent over the past two years, a trend which City Hall says poses a “grave threat to young lives”.
The money will be allocated to two London Resettlement Consortia projects which support young offenders with mental health, post-traumatic stress and other psychological issues.
Mr Khan has also announced plans for a City Hall Knife Crime Summit which will bring together experts, community members and project workers to consider better ways of diverting young people from the choices that lead them into violence.
Announcing the cash and summit, Mr Khan said: “Every young death is an utter tragedy, yet both knife crime and youth violence are growing problems. Earlier this year, a 20-year-old Londoner was stabbed to death just yards from my own home.
“As Mayor, and as a father of two teenage daughters, I am deeply concerned and determined to do everything I possibly can to help rid our communities of this terrible violence.
“We need to send a strong message that carrying a knife is completely unacceptable, and is more likely to ruin your life than to save it.”
Responding to the mayor’s announcement, Conservative London Assembly member Kemi Badenoch said: “All measures to tackle knife crime are welcome.
“The Mayor though also needs to ensure he supports the police in their efforts both in preventing young men and women from carrying knives and catching those who do so.
“I hope he will back the Metropolitan Police in its use of stop and search, a vital deterrent to those who may choose to carry a knife, as well as tough sentences for those convicted of such offences.
“Knife crime is a serious threat to our young people and no one solution alone is enough.”
On Thursday the London Assembly’s police and crime committee will hear from senior Metropolitan police officers and John Poyton, Chief Executive of the Redthread Intervention Programme, as part of its ongoing investigation into the reasons behind London’s knife crime problem.