Proposals for a knife amnesty will be considered by the Mayor of London and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, it has been confirmed. I backed calls for a London wide amnesty following a serious rise in stabbings in the capital and an increase in the number of teenagers stabbed to death.
The latest data from the Metropolitan Police shows that across the capital knife crime with injury rose by 8% in the last year, with 3,665 incidents in the year to November 2015, compared with 3,383 in the previous twelve months. Nearly half of incidents in the last year involved young people with 1,661 incidents of knife crime with injury involving a victim under 25 during that period, an increase of 7% on the year before. In 2015, 15 teenagers were stabbed to death in the capital.
During Mayor’s Question Time on 16th December Boris Johnson responded to calls for a knife amnesty, saying “I think that the amnesty proposal is something that should be considered.” The Mayor said he would consult Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan Howe, about the proposal. When asked about the possibility of an amnesty at a London Assembly Police and Crime Committee meeting on 17th December, the Commissioner responded “we’re having a look at how we might do this.”
With both the Mayor and Commissioner now agreeing to look at our proposals for a knife amnesty, we’re one step closer to getting more of these weapons off the streets where they can do so much damage.
After the recent increase in the number of young people stabbed to death in the capital the last thing anybody wants to see is another life lost and another family devastated by these horrendous acts.
Whilst an amnesty is only part of the solution, it’s important the Mayor recognises the positive impact allowing people to hand over their knives without fear of prosecution could have.