Mayor offers schools a knife detection wand

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is urging more schools across the capital to take up his offer of a knife detection wand to help prevent knife crime and keep young Londoners safe.

In a week where four young men were fatally stabbed in separate, unrelated incidents across the capital in just 24 hours, the Mayor is highlighting the role schools have in keeping young people safe.

Delivering a commitment in the Mayor’s Knife Crime Strategy, Deputy Mayor for Policing And Crime Sophie Linden wrote to all schools across the capital in October offering them a wand if they want one. Mr Khan, said: “Knife crime ruins lives and devastates communities, and my thoughts remain with the families of the four young men tragically killed in four unrelated stabbings on New Year’s Eve.

These heartbreaking deaths reinforce our determination to rid London’s streets of this scourge, and I know that the Met are urgently working to bring those responsible for these horrific acts of violence to justice.

“But this is a problem that cannot be solved by the police alone. Schools have a vital part to play in our fight against knife crime by creating a safe, positive place for students, spotting danger signs and spreading the message that carrying a knife is more likely to ruin your life than save it.

“That’s why I am providing a knife wand to any school across London that wants one, and I am pleased that many are already taking up the offer. We are working tirelessly to stamp out this terrible violence, with dedicated police operations, interventions in hospitals and funding for community projects steering young people away from a life of knife crime. Only by working together can we prevent any more senseless, tragic deaths on our streets.”

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt said: “We have spoken before about the need to mobilise communities against knife crime; and the work of schools – where young people spend so much of their time – is an essential part of this. Teachers, like us as police officers as well as parents, have a responsibility to use their position to inform and educate young people about the dangers of knife crime.

“Every child should be able to go to school in a safe environment, and the use of knife wands can only have a positive impact.

“There is some excellent work going on out there and having more than 290 officers across 550 schools has enabled an open dialogue between police, young people and staff. What we need now is for this to be standard in every school in London. Knife crime has a devastating effect; it is only by working together that we can have any meaningful impact on this complex societal issue.”

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