Violent crime is finally on the decline in London after years of continuous rises, Met Police chief Cressida Dick has insisted.
The force commissioner appeared in front of the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee on Wednesday, where she said the number of knife injury victims aged under 25 has been decreasing since May 2018, and total gun crime is down.
Moped-enabled crime has also fallen by almost half, she told AMs.
“Month-on-month, almost continuous, since 2014, in almost every violent crime
category, there have been increases,” Dick said. “We are now seeing a plateau, and in some categories, the beginning of reduction.
“That is quite a beginnings of a coming down that I am determined will go further and further.”
Dick, who has been in the force’s top job since February last year, said she recognised levels were still too high.
“I want it to be driven right down and we are determined to do that,” she said. “I fully recognise that people are concerned.
“Many people are very concerned who actually will never come across a violent incident, but because they’re seeing all of this media attention and the conversations about some of the ghastly things that have been happening, they feel quite fearful that it could happen to them.”
Sophie Linden, deputy mayor for policing and crime in London, who appeared alongside the Met boss, said: “There is always more to done. So we’re constantly working with local authorities and communities to make sure more is being done.”
The assembly was also told more than 400 arrests had been made in the capital since April 2018 with 1,500 knives seized, along with nearly 200 firearms and 600 other weapons.
“We’re very busy on knife and gun violence on the streets. We are having lots and lots of successes,” Dick said.
According to the commissioner, these statistics suggest that violent crime in the capital has reached a peak, following an upsurge over the last four years, and is now tailing off.
The committee heard London’s violent crime taskforce, established in April of this year and made up of a team of full-time, dedicated police officers, continues to operate at full capacity.
In a bid to maintain the current plateau, the commissioner said she “would not rule out” expanding the taskforce as the Met seeks to recruit more officers.
In July, police forces across England and Wales recorded a 12 percent rise in murders and a 16 percent increase in offences involving knives or sharp instruments in the period leading up to March 2018.
These figures reflected a fourth consecutive rise following a long-term decline, according to the Office for National Statistics.