Tackling serious violent crime

Every death as a result of violent crime is an utter tragedy - leaving lives destroyed and families heartbroken.


The level of violent crime in London is clearly unacceptably high and Mayor Sadiq Khan is determined to lead from the front to tackle the problem – supporting the Met’s relentless focus on arresting violent offenders, and tackling the root causes of crime from City Hall.

Here’s what the Mayor is doing:

Boosting police power

  • The Mayor has funded a new dedicated Violent Crime Taskforce of nearly 300 police officers focusing on the areas worst affected and is providing £15 million annually to support its operation.
  • Since the VCTF was launched in April 2018 up until 19 December 2019, the command has carried out 12,633 weapons sweeps, recovered 1,391 knives, 918 offensive weapons and arrested 7,904 suspects.
  • Over the same period, wider activity across the MPS targeting violence has seen 62,170 weapon sweeps carried out, with 4,545 knives recovered along with 2,168 offensive weapons.
  • The Met Police has introduced patrols using targeted stop and search for areas worst-affected by knife crime. City Hall investment has seen the roll out of body-worn video across the Met, which has resulted in a reduction in complaints even as the number of searches has increased.

Preventing future violence

  • The Mayor set up England’s first Violence Reduction Unit last year. This brings the police together with specialists from health, local government, probation and community organisations to tackle violent crime and the underlying causes of violent crime. The Unit is learning from counterparts in Glasgow, where a public health approach was successfully implemented over several years and led to a fall in violence.
  • The Mayor has created the £45 million Young Londoners Fund to provide children and young people with positive alternatives to crime and to ensure they have better life opportunities. It supports a range of positive activities for young people aged 10 to 21, including education, sport and culture. To date, the Mayor has invested £20.9m of the Young Londoners Fund to 222 projects, benefiting 73,700 young Londoners.
  • Our Stepping Stones programme, supporting at-risk young people in their transition from primary to secondary school, has been expanded to 15 schools, helping 2,100 vulnerable young Londoners
  • The widely shared London Needs You Alive campaign, viewed over 4 million times, brings together role models and youth influencers to send a positive message to young people - that they shouldn’t put their lives at risk by carrying a knife. The campaign recently expanded to engage community groups, faith groups and schools with a new educational toolkit
  • The Mayor has granted £7 million to projects to combat youth violence across London and £250,000 to community groups and grassroots initiatives
  • The Mayor is working to bring in more Safer Schools Officers to help to drive down knife crime in schools
  • The Mayor is investing £1.4 million to continue to provide youth workers in Major Trauma Centres, and place more youth workers in hospital A&E departments, to help steer young Londoners who have been involved in knife crime away from violence in the future
  • We are working with the MPS, Trading Standards and retailers to stop knives getting into the hands of underage Londoners. We are supporting and promoting the National Business Crime Centre’s Top Ten Tips for preventing the underage sale and theft of knives to all London retailers
  • Knife wands are now available for every school in London to help keep young people safe, with 200 schools so far taking up the offer
  • Together with the London Trading Standards launched a knife retailers toolkit, which contains a refreshed London retailer agreement and a training package to crackdown on underage knife sales. The training pack provides multiple resources for businesses to strengthen their knowledge about the law on and how to do  ASSESS, CHALLENGE and CHECK before a sale.
  • Following a business community safety summit in April 2019, developed a Public safety toolkit for the business community to support businesses in preparing for and reduce the risk of serious violence incidents occurring in their premises. The toolkit also offers guidance on how to respond in the period immediately after an incident of serious violence occurs and how to support employees, customers and wider community to recover from such an incident in the longer-term. It also outlines the principles for safe havens and safeguarding.

Tackling gang violence 

  • The Mayor is investing £2 million in London Gang Exit services to support young people at risk of or engaged in serious violence and help them into employment, education or training 
  • City Hall works with the police, charities and councils on two programmes aimed at ending and preventing gang violence and exploitation, working with victims and young people at risk.

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