Tower Hamlets has the highest rate of knife crime per head of population of all the Eastlondonlines boroughs, with one offence for every 290 residents.
As knife crime across London continues to cause alarm, an analysis of data from the Metropolitan Police shows that, in the past eight years, knife crime in Tower Hamlets has increased by 34 per cent; from 794 offences in 2010-2011 to 1065 in 2017-2018.
Tower Hamlets is not the only borough which has experienced such a rise in these crimes since 2010. Croydon has also seen a rise by nine percent, with one offence for every 472 residents. Hackney increased by 15 per cent, with one offence for every 349 residents . On the other hand, Lewisham witnessed a decrease of almost 20 percent, from 936 offences in 2010-2011 to 753 in 2017-2018. The ratio for Lewisham is one crime for every 388 residents.
Tower Hamlets is also the only EastLondonLines borough that increased the number of knife-related offences in the past two years. Croydon, Hackney and Lewisham had a peak in 2016-2017 with, respectively, 834, 854, 820 knife offences registered and then decreased by approximately 4, 7 and 8 percent.
Tower Hamlets has, on the other hand, increased by 13 percent, from 936 offences registered in 2016-2017 to 1065 in 2017-2018.
ELL recently reported on the increased police presence in south London after the capital saw one of the worst string of knife-related offences where five people were killed in six days.
In October, the Office for National Statistics released figures showing that knife crime levels in London are the highest ever with almost 15,000 offences, 15 per cent more than the previous year. On a nation-wide level figures have increased by almost 10 percent.
And data from the Home Office and the Met revealed last week that the number of homicides in the capital is the highest in a decade. Out of 130 offences committed since January 1, 73 were stabbings. Hackney, with eight homicides, is the first among the ELL boroughs, followed by Lewisham, with five, and Croydon and Tower Hamlets, both of them with two.
To tackle the problem, the Mayor of London and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner introduced the Violent Crime Taskforce (VCTF) in April.
The task force was launched with 150 officers using £15 million of funding from the Mayor of London.
A decision was made by the Commissioner and the Mayor to move 122 officers from The Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command to the VCTF, increasing the task force to 272 officers.
Commissioner Cressida Dick said: “The deployment of some of our Roads and Transport Command officers to the Taskforce has been hugely beneficial in tackling and reducing knife and violent crime in London. Their results speak for themselves as to the impact they have been having – with more than 1,700 stop and searches and over 160 arrests for offensive weapons, knives and drugs.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “The work of the Violent Crime Taskforce has been crucial in making more than 2,000 arrests and taking hundreds of knives and dangerous weapons off our streets.”
Recent incidents involving knife crime in the ELL areas include:
- September 21: Two 16-year-olds stabbed in Tower Hamlets by attackers who tried to steal their phones; injuries not life-threatening, no arrests made.
- October 18: A man in his sixties stabbed in Poplar; no arrests made.
- October 29: Two teenagers jailed after stabbing 14-year-old in Lewisham.
- October 31: 38-year-old man stabbed to death in Rotherhithe; no arrests.
- November 1: 15-year-old stabbed to death in Bellingham; no arrests.
- November 15: 25-year-old stabbed in Kingsmead Estate in Hackney; two arrested..
- November 24: 26-year-old father of two stabbed to death on Kingsland Road in Shoreditch; woman, 18, arrested.
- December 7: 20-year old jailed for life after stabbing to death former friend in Croydon.