Is this where our country is headed (maybe California)? London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced a significant crackdown on knives Sunday in the wake of the city seeing an increase in stabbings. The number of homicides in London now has topped New York City for two straight months.
Wow, this is so weird because I thought guns were the problem.
Khan tweeted: “No excuses: there is never a reason to carry a knife. Anyone who does will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law.”
No excuses: there is never a reason to carry a knife. Anyone who does will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law. https://t.co/XILUvIFLOW
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) April 8, 2018
The mayor’s tweet also included a plan of action to boost police power and prevent future violence. London has experienced more than 50 homicides already in 2018. Most of the murders in the city have been seen victims who have been stabbed to death. Because guns have been tightly restricted in Britain, shootings have become rare.
The mayor is determined to make sure that criminals are caught and punished – but he’s also investing millions in tackling the complex root causes of violent crime to help prevent future deaths.
Here’s the mayor’s action plan according to London City Hall:
Boosting police power
- A new violent crime taskforce of 120 officers has been created using additional funding from City Hall announced by the Mayor in February. The taskforce will focus solely on violent crime, weapon-enabled crime and serious criminality.
- The Met Police has introduced targeted patrols with extra stop and search powers for areas worst-affected by knife crime
- The Mayor is protecting the number of frontline police officers on London’s streets byinvesting £110m in the Met Police.
- Police made more than 900 arrests during Operation Winter Nights in November and December, taking more than 350 weapons off London’s streets
Preventing future violence
- In February Mayor created the £45m Young Londoners Fund to help steer young people away from violent crime
- Knife wands are now available for every school in London to help keep young people safe, with 150 schools so far taking up the offer
- The widely shared London Needs You Alive campaign brings together role models and youth influencers to send a positive message to young people – that they shouldn’t put their lives at risk by carrying a knife
- The Mayor’s granted £7 million to projects to combat youth violence across London and £250,000 to community groups and grassroots initiatives
- The Mayor is working to bring in more Safer Schools Officers to help to drive down knife crime in schools
Tackling gang violence
- The Mayor’s investing £2m in London Gang Exit services to support young people at risk of or engaged in serious violence and help them into employment, education or training
- City Hall works with the police, charities and councils on two programmes aimed at ending and preventing gang violence and exploitation, working with victims and young people at risk
Action plans under way
- The Mayor has published a new Knife Crime Strategy, a package of tough and comprehensive measures to tackle knife crime, taking in views from bereaved families and victims. It was the first by a London Mayor
- He hosted an Education Knife Crime Summit in 2016, bringing together Ofsted, educators, the Met and families to work on anti-knife crime education in schools
- Every London borough now has its own knife crime action plan to tackle violence locally, created in partnership with the Met
City Hall summit
- The Mayor has invited the Home Secretary, London MPs, Council leaders and Assembly Members from across London to a City Hall summit – on Tuesday 10 April – about tackling violent crime on the city’s streets.
- Politicians from across political parties and the capital are being invited to City Hall to be briefed by the Mayor and Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick about the action being taken against the current spate of violence.
If the present trend continues, London will surpass the 130 murders in 2017 and reach a number they have not seen since the early 2000s.
Over the last two months, London hit the mark of recording more homicides than New York. This is the first time in modern history, according to Fox News.
Both cities are about the same size, with more than 8 million people. They have similar extremes of poverty and wealth, but London has never recorded more murders in a year than the U.S. mega city. New York had 290 homicides in 2017, the lowest number in decades.
Police and community leaders in London blame the surge in stabbings on battles over control of the illegal drug trade, and a “postcode war” between street gangs.
Like so many other areas in culture, are we a decade or two behind this European experience?
Credit: Fox News