The Mayor of London and the Met Commissioner have said they will consider proposals for a knife amnesty after I questioned them at a London Assembly meeting. I made the call following a serious rise in stabbings in London and a rise in the number of teenagers stabbed to death, including seven teenagers in my constituency. We’re now one step closer to getting more of these weapons off the streets.
The latest data from the Metropolitan Police shows that knife crime with injury across London rose by 11% in the last year, with 3,657 incidents in the year to October 2015, compared with 3,288 in the previous twelve months. Nearly half of incidents in the last year involved young people; 1654 incidents of knife crime with injury involved a victim under 25 during that period, an increase of 11% on the year before. 15 teenagers have been stabbed to death in London so far this year. In my constituency, which includes Hackney, Islington, and Waltham Forest, seven teenagers have been killed by knife crime since last January.
During Mayor’s Question Time on 16th December Boris Johnson responded to my call for a knife amnesty, saying “I think that the amnesty proposal is something that should be considered.” The Mayor said he would consult Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan Howe, about the proposal. At a London Assembly Police and Crime Committee meeting on 17th December, I asked the Commissioner is he would support a London wide knife amnesty. Sir Hogan Howe responded “we’re having a look at how we might do this.”
I think that it is important the Mayor recognises the positive impact allowing people to hand over their knives without fear of prosecution could have.
With both the Mayor and Commissioner now agreeing to look at our proposals for a knife amnesty, we’re one step closer to getting more of these weapons off the streets where they can do so much damage.
After the recent increase in the number of young people stabbed to death in the capital the last thing anybody wants to see is another life lost and another family devastated by these horrendous acts.
Whilst an amnesty is only part of the solution, it’s important the Mayor recognises the positive impact allowing people to hand over their knives without fear of prosecution could have.