Sadiq Khan pledges to invest £7.8m to help young Londoners avoid crime

Sadiq Khan has pledged to invest an extra £7.8 million into tackling “complex causes of crime” if he is re-elected as London Mayor.

On Monday, the Labour incumbent is to announce that the new funding will be used to expand his Violence Reduction Unit’s (VRU) community-led programme, MyEnds, to deliver targeted youth work and mentoring.

It will help support young people in 11 of the capital’s neighbourhoods as they move from primary to secondary school, ensuring they are diverted away from gangs, Mr Khan said.

His campaign has framed the May 2 vote as a “neck-and-neck” two-horse race between Labour and the Tory candidate Susan Hall, despite recent polling putting him on firm course for a historic third term.

Mr Khan’s team said it is a choice between someone “building a safer London for everyone” or a “divisive, hard-right Tory opponent” who they say has “strongly backed” cuts to police.

Conservative party candidate Susan Hall
Conservative party candidate Susan Hall during the LBC London Mayoral Debate, ahead of the election for Mayor of London on May 2 (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

“This major new investment will play a pivotal role in providing targeted support to communities across the capital – whether youth work, mentoring, or a variety of after-school activities.”

However, Ms Hall hit back, saying Mr Khan “has nothing to offer but excuses” while crime in the capital “has soared out of control”.

Bruce Houlder, founder of Fighting Knife Crime London, said in the year to January 24 2024, there were 48,716 offences involving a knife or other sharp instrument in England and Wales, 28.9% of which occurred in and around London.

He went on: “The evidence is that some higher crime areas in Greater London lack the support they require. It is very welcome news that more such areas are now to receive it.

“Investment of this sort does save lives, calms communities, and ultimately saves much needed police and NHS resources. This aspect needs to receive so much more attention, and not just at election time.”

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