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Knife crime 'a stain on our city' says Met chief as deaths near 5 year high
3 December 2021, 10:02 | Updated: 3 December 2021, 10:23
Dame Cressida Dick has told LBC it "pains" her "horribly" when she thinks of all the teenagers who have lost their lives to knife crime this year, as fatalities are set to reach a five year high.
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The Metropolitan Police Commissioner said knife crime remains a "stain" on London but said she "didn't know" why fatal attacks were on the rise.
Speaking to Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, during Call the Commissioner, she said: "The deaths of the teenagers this year, in murders, absolutely horrible.
"I’ve said this before I would regard this as a stain on our city, think of each and every one of them as a child, with a family, a community.
"Usually, as you may know, the people who perpetrate the attacks are also children and often in a group so there is a whole swathe of people whose lives are completely recked by this horrible, horrible phenomenon."
When questioned on what the Met Police are doing to combat knife crime in the city, she replied: "We have been working very, very hard against knife crime, in terms of knife crime generally there is a decrease of over 30 per cent, when we compare it with 2019."
To which Nick replied: "But an increase in fatalities."
Dame Cressida continued: "A decrease in knife crime with injury of over 20 per cent."
Which Nick once again added: "But an increase in fatalities."
The commissioner replied: "A decrease in stabbings of young people under 25 of nearly 30 per cent."
Nick asked: "Do I have to say it again? You are heading for the worst [number of knife crime fatalities] in five years."
"I simply want to say nick if you think of the first category I talked about that is 4,000 less victims, if you think of the third category I talked about, it is nearly 400 less victims of stabbing under 25 this year," the Met chief added.
"My officers are out there smashing up gangs, smashing up organised crime groups and in the drugs markets."
But when asked why fatalities were on the rise if knife crime was decreasing, she said "I don't think anybody knows" but there are a "small number" of "very very very vicious attacks".
"It pains me horribly that we have had these homicides this year and I’m intending and we all pray that next year we don’t have these."
Her comments come after an LBC exclusive poll found 49% of Londoners don't trust her force.
Just over half (51%), say that they trust the Met and 23% of people polled actively distrust police, our poll data shows.
Nick asked Dame Cressida: "London does not seem to trust your colleagues, why?"
"Well certainly I would like those figures to be much higher obviously," she told Nick.
"But this is the first time I have heard those and a poll of 1,000 people."Rest-assured we survey regularly and I have to say I do absolutely understand that in particular, not exclusively, the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer has absolutely damaged people's trust in us. That's something I regret.
"It isn't the only event this year where people have looked at what a very small number of my colleagues have been doing, or alleged to have been doing, and have felt very very upset about that."