London

Mayor announces £400k to tackle 'growing' knife crime

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Media captionLondon Mayor Sadiq Khan pledged £400,000 for tackling crime and youth violence.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has pledged £400,000 for the "growing problems" of knife crime and youth violence.

The money will extend funding for two London Resettlement Consortia to help victims and youths released from custody in 12 boroughs.

Knife crime incidents rose from 1,336 in January 2014 to 1,660 in June, while gun use rose from 306 to 410, Mayor's Office for Policing And Crime said.

Mr Khan also urged hospital staff to report all knife crime cases to police.

Four teenagers have been stabbed to death since January, while there were 12 teenage deaths and 291 serious injuries from knife crime the year before, Met Police figures show.

The money allocated will go towards extending funding for the centres for another year, which cover Waltham Forest, Enfield, Newham, Hackney, Redbridge, Islington, Lewisham, Lambeth, Southwark, Croydon, Greenwich and Wandsworth.

'Utter tragedy'

The centres, set up last September, have been helping vulnerable young people to steer them away from anti-social and criminal behaviour.

The mayor made the announcement while visiting youth workers at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington.

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Mr Khan said: "Every young death is an utter tragedy, yet both knife crime and youth violence are growing problems.

"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."

Appealing to staff at Accident and Emergency units in London hospitals he said he is aware of patient confidentiality privilege, adding: "I am not asking for that to be breached, but what I am asking for is for the information to be made available, it leads to better policing."

Conservative London Assembly member Kemi Badenoch said: "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."

The London Assembly is due to discuss the issue of rising serious youth violence on Thursday as MOPAC figures show there were 6,290 victims of serious youth violence last year - a 20% rise since 2012-13.

Newham, Croydon, Tower Hamlets and Southwark have had the highest levels of crime.

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