Rise in young knife crime victims in Newham

Newham saw a rise of more than eight per cent in the number of young knife crime victims in the last financial year, according to Metropolitan Police figures.

In FY 2010-2011 there were 443 victims of knife crime aged between 13 and 24 in the borough, making it the second highest number in London. Only Southwark had higher figures with 523.

The figures show a rise of 13.88 per cent since 2007-2008 when there 389 young knife crime victims.

Although the figures were collated by the police, they were released after Stella Creasy, Shadow Home Affairs Minister, questioned London Mayor Boris Johnson about tackling knife crime.

She said: “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.”

However Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor of Policing, disputed the figures. He said: “Teenage killings in London have more than halved under Boris. Knife injuries and gun crime are also significantly down. Overall murder is at an historic low and important areas of the public realm, like the transport system, are significantly safer.

“On gangs we have been working hard over the last three years and in some boroughs there has been significant progress.

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“Boris has pumped money into policing to maintain numbers and fortify the Met for the continuing fight against crime, and that mission is far from complete.

“Labour did little to fight knife crime, they were complacent and indifferent to the plight of Londoners. We should all remember that these gangs took root on their watch and it will take more than a couple of years to eradicate the menace Labour ignored for so long.”