London is a 'fantastically safe' city Met Police boss claims as teen murder figures fall

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (left) and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley during a visit to Box Up Crime gym in Ilford, Essex. Credit: PA

The number of teenage killings halved in 2022, according to new Metropolitan Police figures.

Met Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley hailed the capital as a “fantastically safe” city as the force announced a drop in homicide rates last year.

The total number of homicides recorded under Home Office Counting Rules (HOCR) for 2022 is 109, which is 17% down on 2021, the Met said.

Nine homicides were gun enabled in 2022, which was a 25% fall and the lowest figure since 2014.

A total of 69 homicides were knife enabled, which was a 17% reduction and equal to the pre-pandemic figure for 2019.

On a visit to a a boxing gym in Ilford on Thursday, Sir Mark said the capital is a place to “live, work and enjoy yourself”.

Alongside mayor of London Sadiq Khan, the commissioner met Box Up Crime founder Stephen Addison, who set up the club to provide vulnerable young people with a community and a path away from crime.

Stephen Addison BEM (right), Founder, Box Up Crime, alongside Fabian Williams, youth coordinator at Box Up, in their gym in Ilford. Credit: PA

Sir Mark said: “London is a fantastically safe global city. Of course no city’s perfect, but if you look at crime rates… it’s a safe place to live and work and enjoy yourself.”

He was pressed on his plan to root out criminal behaviour within the Met after a string of high-profile convictions of officers for serious offences.

Asked about his plans to rebuild public trust in the force, he said: “I have got tens of thousands of men and women who are fantastic people, who care and want to make a difference.

Sadiq Khan (left) and Councillor Jas Athwal, leader of Redbridge Council, during a visit to Box Up Crime gym. Credit: PA

“Sadly I’ve got hundreds I need to sort out and who shouldn’t be in the organisation and as we do that you’ll hear more.

“But I’ve got many, many more people who care about Londoners than some of those awful individuals that should never have been police officers.”

The Met has vowed to increase high-visibility patrols and boost community policing focused on preventing robbery after recent figures from Ilford showed 36% of mugging victims were aged 18 or younger.

Their work is part of the Met’s Winter Nights operation to clamp down on robbery and violence and includes a focus on the highest harm offenders.

It said there had been 71 arrests for robbery since November.

Mr Khan said: “We know we cannot arrest our way out of violence and that’s why my Violence Reduction Unit is supporting young Londoners, intervening at critical stages in their lives and providing them with positive opportunities, support and mentors – particularly during this cost-of-living crisis, so they can succeed and thrive.”