Conservative Mayoral Candidate Boris Johnson has launched ‘the start’ of his strategy for tackling the gang violence in London as part of his campaign to win in May’s elections.
Mr Johnson’s campaign team say he’ll "be focusing on developing solutions which directly involve communities across London in addition to looking at tougher policing for the capital."
He also issued five campaign pledges designed to "drive the strategy for protecting London’s teenagers."
On Policing Johnson says he would:
- Make it a policing priority to stamp out knife and gun crime in a proactive way (holding Sir Ian Blair, Jacqui Smith and the Mayor of London to account on this issue)
- Use mobile scanners in hot spots around London at tube stations, festivals, etc.
- Drive out political correctness – this is not about one section of the community in London. The knife is colour blind and does not discriminate.
- Get more police on the streets.
Community Funding: Direct LDA so that it concentrates on funding community groups who provide mentoring schemes.
Sports Funding: Ring-fence a part of the LDA budget to invest specifically in community sports projects around London.
Housing: Make designing out crime a key priority in the London Plan so we don’t make the mistakes of the past.
Transport: Make public transport safer by running a live CCTV trial on buses.
Speaking at today’s launch Mr Johnson said the recent spate of stabbings in the capital meant it was "time we got a grip on the culture of the gangs and gang-related killings. There have now already been two teenage murders in London since the New Year dawned."
"This matters to London. It needs leadership; and it is a scandal that so far we have heard little or nothing from the Mayor, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, or the Home Secretary. We need positive action, a short, medium and long term strategy for getting us out of this mess."
"It is time for a concerted policy to tackle the scourge of teenage gang killings, and that coordination is surely the paramount job of the Mayor. If people feel the streets of London aren’t safe, that negates so much of the other good work being done by the police."
"We need to take London’s gang culture seriously if this year’s toll is not to be a tragic repeat of 2007, or worse."
To coincide with the launch Johnson has taken out a full page advert in today’s Evening Standard drawing attention to the 27 murders of teenagers in London last year. The advert can also be be viewed on his campaign website: www.backboris.com