Khan’s London: Murder Rate Reaches Decade High as Knife Killings Surge

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 07: Police on the scene of a fatal stabbing in Leyton on March 7, 2019 in London, England. A man in his 20s has become the 21st person killed in London after he died from his injuries yesterday afternoon. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
Jack Taylor/Getty

The number of people murdered in London has reached its highest level in a decade under the leadership of Mayor Sadiq Khan, with 149 people losing their lives in 2019.

The homicide rate in London last year was the highest since 2008 when 154 people were killed in the capital and ten per cent higher than in 2018 when 135 people were murdered. The majority of victims were stabbed to death, with 90 people being killed by knives, up from 55 in 2014.

Gang-related murders have risen sharply during the mayoralty of Sadiq Khan, with 42 people dying in gang-related crimes, more than double that of 2014 when 17 people died in gang crimes, reports The Guardian.

In 2018, Mayor Sadiq Khan launched a £500,000 “violent crime unit” in response to the knife crime epidemic sweeping over the city. The founder of Anti-Knife UK, Danny O’Brien, said that the mayor’s response was inadequate to deal with the problem.

“He’s said that he’s going to try and save the problem but in reality, he hasn’t got a clue what to do. He starts something, throws money at the problem but doesn’t know what the problem is,” O’Brien said.

“Politicians as a whole just simply aren’t doing enough,” he added.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Service said in response to the surge in knife crime that “tackling violence that involves knife crime is the number one priority” for the police.

“Stop and search and the use of Section 60 remains an important power in tackling knife crime and protecting the public. This means that following a stabbing, further retaliatory incidents are prevented saving further violence,” the spokesman told The Sun.

“In 2018, it resulted in more than 4,200 arrests for weapon possession alone. Every one of those weapons seized potentially means one less violent incident, injury or death,” the spokesman added.

The surge in knife crime and murders will be a top issue in the upcoming London mayoral election, in which Sadiq Khan will be seeking to win a second term.

Shaun Bailey, a Conservative Party candidate, blamed Sadiq Khan for the violent crime wave in the city.

“An extremely violent end to the year in London. Sadly, 2019 will be remembered as a year of crime and fear for Londoners. In the mayoral campaign my focus will be on making London a safer place, things can’t carry on as they are. We need a change in City Hall,” wrote Bailey. 

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

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