‘There are too many families grieving’: Sadiq Khan joins community leaders calling for Government support to cut crime

The rise in the cost of living has increased violence and crime rates across London, a new study has shown.

A new London School of Economics (LSE) report shows a direct link between a 10 per cent rise in the cost of living and an eight per cent increase in violence, robberies, shoplifting, burglary and theft over the past year. 

Today, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, joined community leaders at Marcus Lipton Youth Club in Minet Road, Brixton, to discuss the reports findings. 

Mr Khan said: “The causes of crime involve poverty, inequality and a lack of opportunities for young people, which have all been made far worse by years of austerity and failure by the government. 

“There are too many families grieving, too many young Londoners walking home from school worried about finding trouble on the way and too many women fearful for their safety as they go about their lives.

“Now is not the moment for despair, but for continued determination to make London a safer city for everyone.”

Homicides, gun crime and the number of young people being injured with knives have all decreased in London since 2016, with the violent crime rate lower in the capital than in the rest of England and Wales.

Mr Khan said: “Through our investment and initiatives, a person is less likely to be a victim of violent crime in London than they are across the country.

“But crime remains far too high in London.

“Tough enforcement will always be a critical part of the solution. But – like police forces right across the country – the Met has been devastated by a chronic lack of investment from the national government.”

The Met’s funding has been cut by a third in real terms since 2010, the equivalent of £1billion, Mr Khan said.

Claire Waxman OBE, London’s Independent Victims’ Commissioner, said: “The Government must do more. 

“The victims that come to me encounter an overstretched and underexperienced police service, failures by agencies to uphold their rights and unacceptable delays at court. It is time for a wholesale national review of our criminal justice system that puts victims at the centre.”

The Mayor announced £15.6million in funding for a new Violence and Exploitation Support Service to protect and safeguard young people caught up in violent crime including gangs and county lines. 

The new scheme follows the Mayor’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) – introduced in 2018 – which has invested in more than 350,000 interventions and opportunities to divert young people away from violence.

Joining Mr Khan in Brixton this morning, Ira Campbell, of the MyEnds programme in Lambeth, said: “The VRU’s MyEnds programme has given communities like ours the funding and backing to support young people and families in our neighbourhoods. 

“It’s having an impact, we’ve seen it, but this community-led approach needs consistent funding all over London to continue making a difference and helping people affected by poverty, deprivation and tackling violence.”   

The Treasury has been approached for comment.

Pictured top: Sadiq Khan has called on the Government to increase funding for policing community services (Picture: PA)

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