Amid the glorious bank holiday sunshine, it was another weekend of bloodshed on London’s streets. The lives lost included an 18-year-old man stabbed to death in a busy park in Edgware and a much-loved flower seller in Islington.
This is mothers losing sons. Lives changed forever. Young children left traumatised. Five murders in three days — we simply cannot go on like this.
These latest travesties come soon after we reported last week that London may not get the additional 3,000 police officers. Clearly, we must.
Knife crime in London has risen 60 per cent from when Sadiq Khan became Mayor in May 2016 and the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic last March, suggest figures from the ONS. Falls in later months are linked to lockdowns.
Londoners must be able to go to the park or visit a flower stall without fear for their lives. There can be no true recovery from Covid while this continues.
We welcome the Mayor’s decision to increase investment in the London Gang Exit programme by nearly £2 million. The public health approach to knife crime — something this newspaper campaigned for — is vital in tackling the complex causes of violent crime. But clearly, we have a long way to go.