Every London school to be offered knife detection wand

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Sadiq Khan launched the new strategy with Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick

Every school in London will be offered a metal detecting wand as part of new plans to reduce knife crime, Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced.

New community sentences will be introduced for those convicted of knife possession, while an extra £625,000 has been pledged for knife crime projects.

The mayor of London said the strategy "brings together" organisations and communities "to solve this problem".

But the Conservatives said Mr Khan's measures had come "far too late".

This year, up to 18 June, 24 people under the age of 25 have been fatally stabbed on London's streets.

On Monday the Met launched three separate murder investigations following stabbings in Canning Town, East Ham and Islington.

Image source, Met Police
Image caption,
Some of the 518 knives recovered during a week-long police operation

The extra money pledged will increase the total spending by the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) on knife and gang projects to more than £7m.

Other measures announced as part of the strategy include:

  • A team of 80 specialist police officers who will target areas which have high knife crime
  • Support for officers to use more targeted, intelligence-led stop and searches while providing judgement training to police to improve operations
  • Developing the work of the London Gang Exit Service which targets offenders involved in gangs to develop their skills and improve their employability
  • Targeting shops which sell illegal knives or sell blades to underage people
  • Increasing support for young victims of knife crime and their families

Mr Khan said: "No young Londoner should have to accept crime and violence as a way of life.

"We are working to provide them with the skills, the resources and the confidence they need to turn away from knives and lead the life they deserve in our city."

However, Conservative London Assembly member Tony Arbour said it was "disappointing that we've had to wait over a year for the mayor to take action".

He added that while he supported the increasing use of stop and search, the strategy as a whole "contains too few tangible targets... so it will be hard to tell whether or not it's been successful."

More on this story

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.