London Elections 2021: Green Party announce 'zero murders in London' plan

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Sian BerryImage source, PA Media
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Sian Berry said she will create "an environment where violence simply cannot thrive".

The Green Party candidate for mayor of London has set a target of zero murders in London within 10 years if she were to be elected.

Sian Berry said she will boost funding for youth services and early intervention schemes, as well as expand the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) set up under current mayor Sadiq Khan.

The number of killings in London has exceeded 100 for six years in a row.

"Don't let anyone tell you it can't be done," said Ms Berry.

"Everyone affected by murder and violent crime deserves justice, but it would be far better to have prevented the violence in the first place.

"I'll fund the schemes which create an environment where violence simply cannot thrive.

"I'll divert people away from violence before it happens and I'll protect potential victims, rather than sending in the police once the damage is done."

LONDON'S ELECTION: THE BASICS

What's happening: On 6 May people will vote to elect a mayor as well as 25 members of the London Assembly. Together, they make up the Greater London Authority (GLA), which governs the capital - you can register to vote here.

What difference does it make? The mayor has a £19bn budget and is responsible for Transport for London, the Metropolitan Police, and has a role in housing, planning and the environment. The London Assembly holds the mayor to account by examining their policies. Find out more here.

Who is standing? London's current mayor, Labour's Sadiq Khan, is seeking re-election and his main challenger is Conservative Shaun Bailey, but there are 18 others running.

In 2020, there were 127 killings across London, despite a series of national lockdowns because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ms Berry said she would increase funding for the VRU and make it "independent of the mayor's office".

She also promised to expand Mr Khan's Young Londoner's Fund, which supports youth schemes aimed at helping those at risk avoid getting caught up in crime.

Psychologists and trauma experts will also be made available for police interviews of witnesses and victims of crime.

Ms Berry has also committed to working towards zero deaths on London roads and to achieve zero carbon emissions from London transport by 2030.

Announced by Mr Khan in September 2018, the VRU mirrors a similar approach used in Glasgow to tackle serious violence as a disease.

Reacting to Ms Berry's announcement a London Labour spokesman said: "Sadiq is tackling violence by being both tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime.

"He's put more than 1,000 extra officers on the streets, invested in creating positive opportunities for young Londoners."

A modern browser with JavaScript and a stable internet connection is required to view this interactive. More information about these elections

Note: This lookup covers national elections in Scotland and Wales, the Hartlepool by-election, as well as council and mayoral elections in England and Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections in England and Wales. There may be parish council elections or council by-elections where you are. Check your local council website for full details. Last updated: May 11, 2021, 12:35 GMT

The Conservative mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey said he is using his experience as a youth worker "to make streets safer".

He added: "I'll hire 8,000 more police to get criminals off our streets. But I'll also help young people access the support they need, with 4,000 youth workers and a youth centre in every borough.

"This is what a fresh start looks like.

"Support for young people caught up in crime and safer streets for every resident in every community."