View from the House: Scourge of gang crime can be stopped

PUBLISHED: 08:00 07 October 2018

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Working with the Centre for Social Justice, I recently put forward proposals in a report called It Can Be Stopped, to tackle the violent crime wave that has plagued London.

Ensuring communities have the power to get young people at risk away from gangs and intensifying stop and search would help curb a “toxic cycle of serious violence” in London.

Children as young as 10 are running drugs and knives from London all the way up to country lines. If you stop them and get them out of the gangs, you will collapse the gangs from the inside.

Policing alone does not reduce this process, however a zero-tolerance enforcement message credibly paired with easy access to support services, offers young people a chance to get off the streets, out of the gangs and into jobs and education.

The stop and search part of the report recommends that in the areas where this violence, where this gang activity, is highest, we need to bring in a process which puts a “safer street zone” in place into which intelligence-led policing allows them to be able to stop those that may be carrying knives.

We need major co-ordination from the London Mayor’s office, supported by the government, resources and massive co-ordination between local authority boroughs. We also need to see more support for the self-funding organisations, such as London Gang Exit, Gangs Unite and Key4Life, to name a few, who are demonstrating success with their invaluable activity under way in response to the gang epidemic.

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