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15 Jul, 2019 15:51

‘Unarguable link’: Sadiq Khan blames Tory cuts on rise in youth stabbings in London

‘Unarguable link’: Sadiq Khan blames Tory cuts on rise in youth stabbings in London

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has accused the Tory government of creating the knife crime epidemic in the capital through its austerity policies, citing new analysis that shows a link between poverty and violence on the streets.

Responding to criticism he is politicizing the issue, Khan told an audience at a youth club in Bermondsey, south London on Monday that “the numbers don’t lie” – the correlation between social inequality and violent crime is “unarguable.”

The sad reality is the violence we’re seeing on our streets today is an appalling side-effect of increasing inequality and alienation caused by years of government austerity and neglect.

It comes after new research undertaken by the mayor’s office shows that three-quarters of violence takes place in London’s 10 most deprived boroughs. It also reveals that serious youth violence in London started increasing in 2012 – the start of former Mayor Boris Johnson’s second term in the post.

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It’s not the first time Khan has singled out government cuts for the rise in violent youth crime. In April 2018, facing a barrage of criticism in the midst of a spike in stabbings across the capital, the London mayor hit back, insisting: “I’m not going to apologise for calling out the consequences of government cuts.”

Khan now claims £800mn has been “stripped” from the London Metropolitan Police Service’s budget since 2010, and that has inflicted a “huge amount of damage” on communities. He called for vital investment in public services, because “we can’t expect the police to bring down poverty and inequality.”

London has seen a 71-percent rise in violent incidents between 2012-13 and 2017-18. Some have accused Khan of not doing enough to counter the rise, with one-third of all knife offences in England and Wales taking place in London, according to the Office for National Statistics. He has been attacked by US President Donald Trump, as well as Conservative MPs.

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