'Reducing serious violence and keeping Londoners safe can’t be done on the cheap'

  • By JackGraves

Commenting on the government’s announcement of a new public health duty on preventing serious violence, London Councils has expressed its support for the public health approach – while also highlighting the need to provide sufficient resources for this vital work.   

Cllr Jas Athwal, London Councils’ Executive Member for Crime & Public Protection, said:

“London faces an immense challenge in reducing serious violent crime and boroughs are fully committed to a proactive role in tackling this. 

“Alongside the police and other key partners, we support a public health approach towards reducing violence and keeping Londoners safe. This is a priority for all London boroughs and many of our services – such as social care, safeguarding, and youth services – have a crucial contribution to make. 

“But we can’t escape the fact that London boroughs have endured a 63% loss of core government funding since 2010, along with reductions to the police. Providing services aimed at reducing serious violence and keeping Londoners safe can’t be done on the cheap – the government needs to ensure boroughs have adequate resources for taking on this challenge.”

All London boroughs are working with local partners to tackle serious violence and knife crime in the capital. They have put in place comprehensive knife crime action plans, which focus on seven key areas: governance, targeting lawbreakers, keeping deadly weapons off London’s streets, protecting and educating young people, standing with communities, neighbourhoods and families against knife crime, supporting victims of knife crime and offering ways out of crime. 

Objectives in each plan cover both immediate interventions and long-term, preventative measures, including providing targeted support and gangs exit programmes. 

London boroughs are sharing learning about effective practice through London Councils’ online Repository of Practice, this includes resources such as: Lewisham’s Offensive Weapons Schools Protocol; Croydon’s Partnership Approach to Preventing the Supply of Knives to Young People by Retail Outlets; and Ealing’s Understanding the Key Drivers to Serious Violence and Building the Best Analytical Products.