Brent and Harrow
5 May 2016 Vote for
Sadiq Khan Mayor of London
Navin Shah GLA Brent & Harrow
Labour Party Londonwide

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Mayor taking knife crime in Brent and Harrow “extremely seriously”

The Mayor of London has given assurances that he is taking serious youth violence and knife crime in Brent “extremely seriously”. I wrote to the Mayor to raise my concerns about rising knife crime in my constituency. 

The Mayor’s Police and Crime Plan, published on Monday (20th March), allows the Met to prioritise work based on local need. In his letter, Sadiq Khan said his Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden, had met with local police and council chiefs to discuss priorities for the borough. He said serious youth violence in Brent had been specifically discussed.

The Mayor’s Knife Crime Strategy is due to be published in June. The Mayor has told me that he will focus his resources on tackling London’s gangs, cracking down on shops selling knives, and delivering more robust community payback for those found to be carrying knives. Schools and communities will also have a role in knife crime prevention and early intervention.

The Mayor agreed with me that serious youth violence and knife crime has become a “growing threat”. He labelled the increase in incidents as “absolutely unacceptable to me as Mayor, as a Londoner and as a father of two teenage daughters growing up in our city.”

At Mayor’s Question Time on 29 March at City Hall, I raised concerns that policing cuts and the possibility that London could miss out as part of the government’s funding formula review could put pressure on local police services. In his response, the Mayor warned if London misses out on the funding it requires “then that’ll affect the service that areas like Harrow and Brent will receive, I’m afraid.”

It is reassuring to receive this strong response from the Mayor. We know that lives have been tragically lost, families are suffering and our community has been blighted, all as a result of knife crime. We need to do everything possible to rid our local area of these awful crimes.

We’ll have more information once the knife crime strategy is published this summer, but the Mayor has given a clear indication that he is prepared to take tough action to reverse the rise in knife crime and serious youth violence. I’m particularly pleased that schools and communities will have a role to play in addressing knife crime.