Youth Knife Crime Up a Third in Hounslow

Labour blames cuts by Government and Mayor for the rise


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Knife crime is up by a third in the Borough of Hounslow, according to police figures.

The statistics, which were taken from Metropolitan Police figures by the Labour party for boroughs across London show there were 191 victims of knife crime in the latest 12 months aged between 13 and 24 in the Borough compared to 141 the previous year.

Only Lewisham (37% increase) and the City of Westminster (40% increase), showed higher figures than Hounslow with some boroughs, including Bromley (12%), Kingston-upon-Thames(15%) and Richmond (4%) actually showing a decrease in knife crime.

Hammersmith and Fulham showed a 17% increase on the previous year.

The statistics on knife crime were issued by Shadow Home Affairs Minister Stella Creasy as she criticised the Government's strategy on gangs, and questioned whether the Mayor Boris Johnson was up to leading London on tackling knife crime.

The figures for Hounslow show that in 2007 there were 168 victims and that this dipped to 127 in 2008, but increased again to 141 in 2009.

During his 2008 Mayoral manifesto Boris Johnson had said if elected he believed he could change the lives of kids who would otherwise be sucked into a nightmarish culture of violence and criminality. He pledged to tackle gun and knife crime by making it a high policing priority, and by funding community groups, sports schemes and handheld weapons scanners.He also pledged to curtail bureaucracy and make 'stop and search' easier for the police.

But Minister Creasy criticised both cutbacks in government funding and the Mayor's handling of knife crime since his election.

“Time and time again, Boris Johnson doesn’t seem to be able to get his facts right on this critical issue. He said when he was elected that he would never accept “defeat“ in the fight against knife crime – but three years on we can see it has risen every year of his term in office, with nearly 7,500 young victims this year alone. Boris Johnson keeps bungling the evidence of knife crime and youth offending, meaning Londoners are asking if we can have confidence in his ability to lead action in this area.”

'Today’s gang announcement shows exactly why we need a Mayor who isn't confused but who can confront Theresa May. Gangs and knives are making the lives of many a misery in the capital but the Government is cutting the services needed to keep London safe.

'Many boroughs are seeing cuts of 30% or more in their youth offending teams, 20% in their community safety budgets, youth services slashed and we're losing 1,000 police officers from our streets. If Boris Johnson was serious about tackling knife crime he’d stop fluffing the figures, and start fighting for the needs of our city."

November 1, 2011

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