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London anti-violence unit will not deliver results overnight, warns Khan

Sadiq Khan (Stefan Rousseau/PA) Photo: PA Archive/PA Images

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has warned the surge in violent crime in the capital will not be solved “overnight” as he unveiled a plan to focus on the bloodshed as a public health issue.

Echoing an approach successfully used in Scotland, a new unit is being set up including staff from health, police and local government agencies to divert young people away from crime, with initial funding of £500,000.

There have been 100 homicides in the capital so far this year, with a third of the victims aged 16 to 24, and three in five of the deaths being stabbings.

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Previous research has shown that young violent criminals have often been excluded from school, while another factor is being exposed to domestic violence as a child.

Mr Khan said: “I want to be honest with Londoners that the work of the Violence Reduction Unit will not deliver results overnight.

“The causes of violent crime are many years in the making and the solutions will take time. That’s why our new approach is focusing over the long term.

“This unit is not a substitute for the investment our public services need if London is to significantly cut levels of violent crime.”

Police have also led a crackdown on bloodshed, with the Violent Crime Taskforce temporarily boosted with an extra 122 officers this week.

The manpower was taken from the Met’s traffic unit, and the taskforce will have 272 officers for the next three months.