Gang violence in London has seen knife crime reportedly surge at its fastest rate in five years, with over 40 incidents logged with police per day, according to an analysis conducted by a top British broadsheet.
A report from The Telegraph newspaper has claimed that over 200 gangs are operating in the British capital, with around 46,000 members at their disposal, some of whom are as young as ten years old.
The prevalence of criminal gangs and inevitable turf wars and other disputes have contributed to increasing violence on the streets of London, with knife crime rising at its quickest pace in five years and gun crime rising by six per cent over last year. So far this year, there have been over 90 homicides recorded in the city, 20 of whom were minors.
The paper revealed that the Metropolitan Police are currently receiving an average of 43 reports of knife crime incidents every single day.
It comes amid a bloody Christmas holiday period in London, with a 49-year-old man being stabbed to death in Hackney in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Four men have been arrested in connection to the killing. Separately, a 16-year-old has been arrested after a 22-year-old woman was stabbed to death in Bermondsey on Christmas Eve.
An officer who serves on the Met’s murder investigation unit said: “It really does feel like things are getting out of control… The volume and the ferocity of the violence that we are seeing is off the charts. I have been on the job for almost 25 years and I have never known it as bad as this.
“Ultimately it is all about money, but violence can explode for the smallest of reasons and before you know it you have gang members, many of them very young, carrying out tit-for-tat attacks. Drill music and the use of social media have made things so much worse. You have online squabbles that escalate so quickly into violence.”
Mugged by Reality: Sadiq Khan Gets Gov’t Fact Check over False Claims of Reducing London Knife Crimehttps://t.co/M8oswu2w0b
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 6, 2023
Knife crime and gang violence is set to be a major political issue in next year’s London mayoral election, in which leftist Mayor Sadiq Khan is seeking a historic third term in office.
Khan’s opponent, Conservative Assembly Member Susan Hall said: “Crime has absolutely spiralled since Sadiq Khan came in but there are also structural issues within the Met that need addressing.
“For the police to get on top of this problem we need to have proper neighbourhood teams embedded in the community. Far too often these officers are being abstracted from their neighbourhood role and dragged onto response teams to fill gaps there.”
While Hall has laid out plans to increase the effectiveness of the police, she argued that the problem is a broader issue within society, saying: “How have we got to this situation where kids are running through the streets with machetes? It’s an absolute disgrace. The most difficult job in the world is to be a parent, but it is also the most rewarding. You have to teach your kids right from wrong.”
During Khan’s reign in London, there has been a sharp increase in knife crime, with 9,086 knife-related offences being recorded in London during the year leading up to March of 2016 before he came to power, compared to 12,786 knife crimes during the same period in 2023, representing a 40 per cent increase since Khan took office.
Passing the Buck: Sadiq Khan Blames London Crime Wave on Weather, Cost of Living Crisishttps://t.co/Ad2UhVOfaR
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 20, 2022