London violent crime to be tackled with new unit

Tackling serious violence in London is to be treated as a public health issue, the city's mayor has said.

Sadiq Khan has set up a Violence Reduction Unit to include public health staff, police and local government, with £500,000 in initial funding.

He said it "will not deliver results overnight", but focus on diverting young people away from crime.

There have been 100 homicides in the city this year, with another man stabbed to death on Tuesday night .

A third of the victims have been aged 16 to 24, and three in five of the deaths have involved knife attacks.

Previous research has shown young violent criminals have often been excluded from school, while another factor is being exposed to domestic violence as a child.

'No investment substitute'

The mayor's scheme echoes an approach successfully used in Scotland .

Mr Khan said: "The causes of violent crime are many years in the making and the solutions will take time. That's why our new approach is focusing over the long term.

"This unit is not a substitute for the investment our public services need if London is to significantly cut levels of violent crime."

The Met Police have boosted the Violent Crime Taskforce temporarily with an extra 122 officers drafted into work this week.

The manpower was taken from the Met's traffic unit, and the taskforce will have 272 officers for the next three months.
London Sadiq Khan London violence
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