NEWS
15/07/2019 08:31 BST | Updated 15/07/2019 11:12 BST

Sadiq Khan Says Rise In Youth Violence Directly Linked To Poverty

London Mayor points to "most comprehensive study" to highlight need for bigger investment in youth services.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is set to reveal new figures that he says show a direct link between the rise in serious youth violent crime in the capital and poverty.

The data, which he says is the most “comprehensive study” of its kind, shows that the 10 most deprived areas of London are most likely to experience the highest levels of serious crime among young people.

“What this evidence shows, and it’s unarguable now, is that there is a direct link between serious youth violence, violent crime, and poverty, deprivation, children being in care, and inequality,” he told Sky News.

The mayor is due to reveal the full results of the study at a major speech on youth crime and violence this morning. 

He is expected to say that deprivation, poor mental health, school exclusions and poverty are helping to drive a rise of 71% in violent incidents between 2012-13 and 2017-18, the Guardian reported.

The study looked at data from a range of institutions including the police, the British Transport police, the NHS, the London Ambulance service and others. 

He also revealed he was “maxing out” the amount of council tax he could raise and divert to the police in at attempt to fill the gap left by Tory cuts to the police service. 

Police officer numbers in England and Wales have dropped by more than 20,000 since 2009. But last year Khan pledged to hire an extra 1,000 police officers, at an estimated cost of £59m.

Speaking on Monday, Khan also told the BBC he was putting £360,000 into 43 projects intended to work with 3,500 young people who are at risk of getting involved in crime.

“There are still some who say that to acknowledge this link between poverty, deprivation and crime is somehow to excuse criminality and to let the criminals off the hook. I say this is dangerous rubbish,” he said.

“There’s never any excuse for criminality. But we have to face the reality that for some young people growing up today, violence has become normalised.