View from City Hall: Police should be given school remit


- Credit: Archant

Yet another tragic knife-related murder has hit our streets, this time in Stratford. So far this year, a shocking 26 people have been killed.

Naturally, this is cause for alarm in our community, but it is also important that local people are aware of the stringent action being taken to counter the scourge of knife crime on our streets.

I met with the borough commander recently and was given a valuable insight into how his team have been using all of the specialist powers and resources at their disposal such as S60 operations and calling in help from outside the borough.

During the last Police Committee meeting at City Hall, we questioned the deputy mayor for Policing and Crime and the assistant commissioner on their strategy to confront the rise in violent crime in London.

I specifically asked about the allocation of dedicated schools officers and was reassured that each school would be assigned one, without affecting the numbers of dedicated ward officers on the beat.

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It was also confirmed that each borough now has its own specific anti-knife crime plan, and I will be monitoring the implementation of these very closely.

To supplement these local strategies, Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London) has devoted in his latest budget £115 million to bolster the Met’s operations, £15 million to specifically go towards anti-knife crime projects and £45 million to support the most at-risk young Londoners.

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I also recently went to the Olympic Park campus of Loughborough University to support and speak at a picket organised by striking lecturers and members of the Universities and Colleges Union, who were protesting at proposed cuts to their pensions.

Following on from this, I have written to the mayor and academic institutions in my constituency to raise their concerns.

Finally, I note and support the motion passed at Newham Council backing local schools against forced academisation.

Positive news has emerged that the Avenue School campaigners have secured a High Court victory with an interim injunction to stop the academy programme and governors at Brampton Manor Primary and Keir Hardie Schools shelving plans to academise.

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