London

Cressida Dick: Stop and search 'has helped reduce London violence'

crime scene Image copyright PA
Image caption During 2018-19 a total of 69 people were stabbed to death in London

A 30% increase in stop and searches has helped drive down violent crime in London, the UK's top police officer has said.

Financial year figures released by the Met show killings in the capital are down by a quarter compared to 2017-18.

Met Commissioner Cressida Dick said more than 170,000 stop and searches were carried out last year and were "very effective".

The new data comes on the day a teenage boy was stabbed to death in Hackney.

But Ms Dick said the Met was now seeing "real progress" on combating a previous spike in violence, particularly among young people.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Cressida Dick said the reasons for the drop in violent crime were complex, but the drugs markets were "a big problem"

Knife-related injuries among under-25s reduced by 15%, from 2,079 to 1,768 young people.

Ms Dick said: "My key metric has always been injury to under 25s, especially on the street, and we have 15% less, 311 less young people stabbed."

"I am confident that we will continue to step up our efforts and continue to make real inroads into these pernicious crimes," she added.

Ms Dick spoke just hours after a 15-year-old boy was stabbed to death and a 16-year-old boy injured in Hackney, east London.

Referring to the most recent death, she said: "The figures, put into the context of what happened overnight, can seem rather bald and cold and unemotional.

"Each death is absolutely ghastly."

Image caption Moped-enabled crime dropped by more than half - 52.3% - to 11,390 - and acid attacks were also down by 30%, the Met's figures showed

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