British Queen celebrates

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will today meet with the Policing Minister, the Met Police Commissioner, cross-party London MPs and council leaders from across the city to ensure all

partners are working as closely as possible together to tackle violence and provide positive opportunities for young Londoners this summer.

Sadiq has been clear that we must work across party lines and across all relevant organisations to tackle violence, which is why he has convened the Summit on violence affecting young people to co-ordinate and share information about what efforts are being made nationally and across the capital to reduce violence after an increase in teenage homicides this year.

The Summit will hear from Kit Malthouse MP, the Crime and Policing Minister, Dame Cressida Dick, the Met Police Commissioner and Cllr Jas Athwal of London Councils, about how enforcement, early intervention and prevention is being used to drive down violence and support young people at risk. 

London leaders will also hear from Tyrell Davis Douglin, a member of the Violence Reduction Unit’s (VRU) Young Person’s Action Group. He will give a young person’s perspective on perceptions of safety in the city and talk about how young Londoners are shaping the work of the VRU.

The Mayor and the Met have raised concerns about a potential surge in violence impacting young people, as restrictions are lifted across the city and schools break up for the summer holidays. Other global cities, such as New York, have experienced a rise in violence as restrictions have lifted and Sadiq is determined to do all he can to tackle violence and ensure young Londoners continue to be supported with a range of positive opportunities so they can gain confidence, have fun and stay safe. 

From City Hall, he is investing in 300 positive activities that will provide opportunities for around 5,000 young people during the holidays, while the VRU has directed £5.4m of funding for a package of support for young people, including mentoring, help for building family resilience and youth work support. 

Today’s Summit builds on the partnership approach to reducing violence in the capital, centred around a multi-agency plan of enforcement, prevention and efforts to tackle reoffending. The Mayor and the Met have set out a comprehensive plan, which involves a relentless focus by the police on suppressing violence with officers on the streets patrolling open spaces and parks, as well as working to keep our town centres safe both during the day and night. There is a focus on identifying violence hotspots and the young people most at risk of being victims or perpetrators of crime.

To help build on this intelligence, London’s VRU has established a targeted programme which gives communities the backing they need to develop their own initiatives to bring about change in their neighbourhoods, together with £4.4m of funding support for the 32 boroughs on local violence reduction plans and the delivery of diversionary work, including sports, music, cooking and art, as well as personal mentoring, support for families and parents.    

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:  “I am absolutely committed to driving down violence and supporting young people by being tough on crime and tough on the complex causes of crime.

“As we go into the summer, London and national partners, including the Met Police, the Probation Service, local authorities, City Hall and communities, are working closely together on a comprehensive plan to tackle violence and ensure young Londoners have positive activities to get involved in during the holidays. 

“We are putting aside any political differences as it’s vital all relevant authorities and leaders work together to make sure we’re doing everything we can to reduce violence and keep our city safe.”  

Commissioner Cressida Dick, Met Police said:  “Violent Crime is our number one priority in the Met. We are all aware of the dreadful impact it can have on victim’s families, friends, and wider communities.

“We are devoting huge resources into doing everything within our power to minimise violence, protect young people and to bring offenders to justice. We have strong operational plans over the summer to suppress violence as much as we can. The public can expect to see more officers in their local communities and on the streets.

“It is only through collective action that we will see a lasting reduction in violence, therefore I am pleased to be at this summit on behalf of the Met and we will continue to work with all our partners and communities to create solutions that may see young lives saved, justice prevail and safer communities.” 

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said: “Every young person deserves the chance to grow up and fulfil their potential and every family and neighbourhood deserves to feel safe.

“We all have a responsibility to act and that is why the Government is taking action to tackle the drivers of crime, divert young people at risk of violence or exploitation, get weapons off our streets and deliver swift justice to criminals. “To succeed it needs agencies working together at national and local level to help give our young people a safe summer.” 

Tyrell, Davis-Douglin, of the VRU’s Young Person’s Action Group, said: “Today’s summit is a positive step in the right direction. Exposing young people to life-changing opportunities is fundamental in deterring them away from criminal exploitation. My voice in today’s summit isn’t only for me but as a member of the VRU’s Young People’s Action Group. 

“Those in position of power, must continue to support, fund and enable the frontline practitioners with the tools they need to do their best work, promote opportunities that are real, engaging and can continue to give us the skills and experience to help us develop so we can grow to reinvest back into our communities.”

Cllr Jas Athwal, London Councils’ Executive Member for Crime and Public Protection, said: “The safety of all Londoners is a vital concern for London boroughs. Local authorities continue to be a proactive partner working to minimise the likelihood of serious violence by connecting with our communities. As we head into the summer holidays, we have a particular focus on diverting at-risk young people to positive activities and opportunities and strengthening support for the vulnerable.

“We must work together and alongside local residents to promote and build safer environments for Londoners. Local authorities are indispensable in this regard and we stand ready to work with the Mayor, MPS and all partners to tackle and reduce violence across our capital.” Photo by KRoock74, Wikimedia commons.