Sadiq Khan has no target for cutting knife crime after 4 Bank Holiday weekend stabbings

Sadiq Khan has said he does not have an aim to decrease knife crime in London by a particular percentage over his third term. Speaking after he was officially sworn in as the city's leader once again at the Tate Modern, the mayor also thanked MyLondon readers for their 'support'.

He said: "Firstly, I want to thank your readers and your viewers for their support last Thursday. It's really important for me to have the humility to recognise that the media is really important in getting the message across.

"So I'm grateful for the work you've done to make sure Londoners know, not just what's in our manifesto [...] but our plans going forward, and crime's one of the things we're going to address and bear down on. Londoners will have seen that, despite government austerity, despite the population rising by more than a million, we're making progress in this area."

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A shot of the Tottenham crime scene with a police car guarding the blue cordon
The 26-year-old man was stabbed in High Road in Tottenham on Monday (May 6) -Credit:Tony Hardiman

He added: "I'm not complacent at all; it's still too high. We've managed to, despite austerity, despite the population rise, to reduce homicides, gun crime, young people injured with a knife, and burglaries as well. But it's still too high.

"And so what we're going do is continue our focus, supporting young people through youth clubs. We've announced an additional £7.2 million to support projects like My Ends."

The mayor added that more areas of the city will be added to the City Hall scheme, which supports community-led organisations such as Croydon Voluntary Action.

Sadiq Khan taking 'public health approach'

Mr Khan also reiterated his belief that crime is 'not inevitable, it's preventable', and that, if a Labour Government were elected, he would ensure the Metropolitan Police Service recruits more police officers.

In addition, the mayor repeated what he told MyLondon during an interview in March, describing his strategy to combat crime as a 'public health approach' to address the issue of violent crime. In response to the suggestion that some may view this as more of a long-term plan, Mr Khan said: "Well, your readers know because they supported me last Thursday, that it's complex in relation to the causes of crime."

He added: "That means starting young, but also making sure we deal with those who are committing crimes. That means being tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime."

Asked if he had any targets as regards percentage decreases in knife crime over his next term, the mayor replied: "No."

Sadiq Khan smiles as he spots Drag Race star Bimini Bon Boulash
Mr Khan officially started his new term as mayor this morning -Credit:Adam Toms/MyLondon

It comes after three men were stabbed to death in separate attacks in North and East London over the bank holiday weekend. On Sunday, (May 5), a 38-year-old man was found with fatal knife wounds after a reported fight in Corfield Street in Bethnal Green, at 8.20pm, reports the Evening Standard.

He died at the scene. Police have also launched murder investigations after two men, in Enfield and Waltham Forest, were knifed to death.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported in April that knife crime in London hit a record high of 14,577 offences in the year to December. This represents an increase of 20 per cent in 12 months.

A spokesperson said: "The Mayor has set out comprehensive targets and actions he will take to continue to decrease knife crime in London and make the capital safer for everyone over the next four years.

"These include recruiting an extra 1,300 neighbourhood police officers and PCSOs to make communities safer and bear down on knife crime, investing more in youth clubs to help steer thousands of young Londoners away from the dangers of gangs and crime, redoubling efforts to reduce violence against women and girls with free legal advice for victims of sexual abuse and supporting the Met to deliver the reforms our police service needs and our city deserves."

Mr Khan stands by election campaign machete joke

During an interview with MyLondon on April 25, Mr Khan stood by a joke he made after his Conservative rival, Susan Hall, raised concerns about 'gangs running around with machetes' during a London mayoral election debate.

The mayor then said during the discussion on LBC on April 23: "I think the Tory candidate should stop watching The Wire.”

A Home Office spokesperson previously told MyLondon: “We are giving the police the resources they need to tackle crime, and through our police recruitment campaign we have more police officers in England and Wales than ever before.

"The Metropolitan Police is the highest-funded force in England and Wales, receiving over a third more funding overall than similar areas like Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool.

"Decisions about how funding and resources are utilised in London is a matter for the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and the democratically elected Mayor of London.

"They will receive up to £3.5 billion in 2024/25, an increase of up to £119 million on the previous year, which includes £185 million in recognition of the increased demands the force faces from policing the capital city.”

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