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Met chief insists tide turning against violent crime in London

Cressida Dick said levels of gun and knife crime were now levelling off after three years of increases.

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Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick (PA)

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick (PA)

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick (PA)

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has insisted the tide is turning against the rise in violent crime.

So far in the capital this year there have been 123 homicides, more than the 118 in the whole of last year, not including the victims of terrorist attacks.

Ms Dick told LBC that after three years of gun and knife crime increasing, the rate was now starting to level off and come down.

But she admitted that it would take a long time to tackle the 180 violent gangs in London that are “busy” dragging children into crime.

Figures released by Scotland Yard on Tuesday showed that in September, October and November this year there were 176 fewer victims of knife crime with injury aged under 25 than in the same three months in 2017, a 31% reduction.

Over the course of a year, there has been a drop of 287 victims, a 13% decrease.

The Commissioner told Nick Ferrari: “After three years of knife crime increasing, gun crime increasing, they are now not just levelling off but beginning to come down.

“These aren’t huge changes. I think, however, we are suppressing it.”

She said she was “sickened” by the grim list of homicides this year and wanted to see the number reduce.

Turning to gang crime, Ms Dick said: “To stop five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven-year-olds being dragged into criminal gangs and becoming gangsters themselves is a big, big project.

“We’ve got about 180 gangs in London. They’re quite entrenched, many of them, and they’re busy bringing children in, so you have to take a long-term approach.”

In September, 122 traffic officers were seconded to the Met’s Violent Crime Taskforce to boost its numbers to 272 for an initial three months.

Force bosses now plan to keep the officers in place for longer, although they have not given a time period.

The Met’s Roads and Transport Command has about 2,300 officers at full strength and is the largest police unit in the UK.

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