Boris Johnson and Theresa May make Croydon knife crime visit
By Ian Austen
BUDGET cuts or not, Mayor of London Boris Johnson is determined to ensure the fight against knife crime in Croydon continues.
He told the Advertiser about his continued support for the campaign when he and Home Secretary Theresa May visited West Croydon to watch a police operation in action.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
A knife arch was set up outside the bus station as plain clothed and uniformed officers patrolled the area as part of their regular surveillance operations in the town centre.
Mr Johnson said there was no doubting the success of the knife crime initiative, Operation Blunt, which was first launched in Croydon around two years ago.
He claimed: "A total of 9,500 knives have been removed from the streets of London in that time.
"In Croydon alone we have seen the number of knife-related incidents reduce from something like five a week to seven a year which involved actual bodily harm."
Mr Johnson believes the effects of the police operation are clearly evident. He said: "In the town centre I know people have seen the atmosphere change and that brings economic benefits."
The Home Secretary feels the anti-knife-crime initiative gives the message to the public that the problem is being taken seriously.
She said: "It is clear that the number of people carrying knives has gone down and it is having an impact."
Both she and Mr Johnson agreed the need to stay tough on knife crime remains and that more has to be done to tackle the problem at source.
She said: "It means giving young people something to do so that they are not on the streets."
The mayor is seeking support for his initiative to find about 1,600 volunteers across London to help expand the work which can be done by uniformed and youth groups to engage with young people.
Mr Johnson added that the Home Secretary would have to play a key role in determining future police funding in the light of the need for budget cuts.
But he said the importance of the campaign was shown by the fact if just one per cent of the knives taken off the streets had been used in crime there would have been 95 more incidents.
Mr Johnson said: "It is working and I am determined to see it carry on."