“Tackling violence and making our communities safer is my top priority”: The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

channel1la.com

12/29/2021 London

A new comprehensive investment package of almost £50m to tackle crime and the complex causes of crime has been announced by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today.

This latest investment, which will run over the next three years, will fund grassroots crime prevention projects across the city and promote positive opportunities for Londoners in every borough in the capital through the London Crime Prevention Fund.

It will see more than £39m distributed between all 32 London boroughs and £9.8m awarded to projects already funded by the Mayor which will work with the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) to tackle criminal activity.

The funding will empower local authorities to tackle violence in their area, reduce offending in their communities and support victims locally and will include:

  • A focus on providing mentoring and trauma-informed interventions for those at risk or involved in violence;
  • Local problem solving to tackle anti-social behaviour, addressing perpetrator behaviour to make communities feel safer;
  • Multi-agency approaches to safeguard young people from exploitation by gangs; initiatives that highlight the dangers of carrying a knife, action to prevent Violence Against Women and Girls and a joined-up approach to breaking the cycle of reoffending among the most prolific offenders.

Reducing violence and making London safer is the Mayor’s number one priority. Alongside record funding from City Hall to the Met, the Mayor is stepping up his work on prevention and early intervention – over the course of the next 12 months, City Hall and the VRU will be delivering a combined package of measures that will support almost 100,000 more young Londoners.

New analysis from City Hall shows that all types of serious violence experienced by young people have fallen over the last four years. Figures show that violence was falling in London before the pandemic, and over the past year knife crime, youth violence and gun crime have come down further. The research shows that serious crimes such as knife crime resulting in injury is down 36 per cent and under-25 knife crime has reduced 48 per cent, compared to the peak in the twelve months to December 2017. But the Mayor is clear there is much more to do to stop young lives being lost to senseless violence, and to prevent violence from happening in the first place.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Tackling violence and making our communities safer is my top priority. Over the past four years and before the pandemic we’ve seen youth violence, knife crime and gun crime come down, but it’s clear that there is much more to do. Every death from violent crime is heart-breaking, devastating families and communities.

“We know the challenges of the pandemic have exacerbated the causes of crime and violence and that’s why this investment is so important and so timely. This new funding package of almost £50 million will provide dedicated funding for local authorities now and allow them to work together to tackle complex problems across borough boundaries and support local communities to tackle violence and reduce offending where they are.

“I am more determined than ever to be tough on crime by investing in our police – ensuring record numbers of officers on our streets, as well as being tough on the causes of crime by providing sustained investment to deliver positive opportunities for young Londoners who need it most.” 

Cllr Jas Athwal, lead for Crime Reduction for London Councils, said: “Investment in crime prevention measures to tackle the causes of criminal behaviour is critically important to making London a safer city to live, work and visit. The Mayor’s fund will help London boroughs to reduce offending locally, provide direct support to the victims of crime, and most importantly prevent young and vulnerable people from turning to a life of crime in the first place.”

Geeta Subramaniam-Mooney, a Strategic lead of Rescue and Response, said: “The multi-agency partnership approach adopted by Rescue and Response on a pan London level has been a clear strength of the project. Local authorities have played a vital role in coordinating this response, working collectively with voluntary sector partners and police to help children and young people move away from the detrimental harms associated with County Lines.  The Strategic Board are pleased with the extension of funding for a year which will enable this innovative approach, providing a consistent offer across London and demonstrating positive impacts for those who are supported by the programme to continue.

“I am very proud to have been part of the creation , development, implementation and ongoing delivery of Rescue and Response, which has demonstrated how working together can improve our knowledge, shaping what works and delivering bespoke support to help improve the lives of children and young people who are exploited through County Lines.”

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