Westminster targets knife crime with dedicated action day

Thu, 27/06/2019

In a joint operation with the Metropolitan Police, Westminster City Council is supporting a crackdown on knife crime with a dedicated action day today. (Thursday 27 June 2019)

Activity throughout the day will highlight both the dangers of carrying knives and aim to take the number of knives off the streets of Westminster including:

Visits by Trading Standards officers to up to 100 retailers across the city checking they are aware of the restrictions around selling knives and highlighting the importance of positioning knives so they can’t be shoplifted.

Assisted by Westminster City Inspectors, police officers will conduct highly visible weapons sweeps in a number of sites across the city, as well as operating ‘knife arches’ at several busy locations during peak times.

The operation is also being supported by Transport for London and the British Transport Police.

Latest figures from the Metropolitan Police showed that knife crime increased by 16 percent in London year-on-year in 2018.

Cllr Ian Adams, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Licensing, said: “We share our residents’ concerns about the growing trend in knife crime across London, especially given so many young lives are being affected by it. Our joint operation with the Met Police sends a clear signal that knives have no place on our streets.

“We all need to play our part in solving this issue, but retailers have an especially key role which is why we’re reminding them of their responsibilities when it comes to selling knives, as well being alert to the risk of theft.”

Chief Inspector at Metropolitan Police, Andy Brittain said: “Tackling knife crime remains our number one priority and it is great to see our key partners working together to help prevent the carrying of knives here in the heart of London. We will continue to ensure that all of our joint efforts are directed at stopping the incidents of violence and the devastation caused to families and communities.

“However, we can’t do this alone. If you know someone who is carrying a knife, is involved in criminality or with a gang or drug network, the risk to their life may be substantial and while the criminalisation of a young person is never the preferred outcome, ultimately, it could save their life.

“Sometimes police intervention can ultimately keep a young person safe and divert their life from a path of criminality and significant personal risk, to something more positive, I urge the community to work with us to identify criminals and bring them to justice and safeguard those at risk of being drawn into a culture of crime.”

Last updated: 27 June 2019