'Just throwing money' at issue of violent crime won't work, Havering and Redbridge London Assembly member says
PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:19 12 February 2020
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The Mayor of London has announced he will be investing an extra £55.5million to tackle the underlying causes of violent crime, but critics have called for a more "holistic" approach to the issue.
The funding, announced today (Wednesday February 12), will be used to tackle the consequences of school exclusions and provide positive opportunities for thousands of young Londoners, Sadiq Khan said.
As part of the new package of measures, £25m will be spent on projects which provide positive opportunities for disadvantaged young people and help steer them away from crime.
There will also be an increase in funding for the Violence Reduction Unit initiatives, peer-mentoring programmes for young people in Pupil Referral Units to help tackle the consequences of school exclusions, and funding for community groups as part of a "hyper-localised approach" to violence reduction.
The funding will also be used to tackle county lines and disrupt the drugs market in the capital, the mayor said.
Keith Prince, Havering and Redbridge's London Assembly member, welcomed the announcement of more funding, but called for a more holistic approach to the issue.
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"It will certainly tackle part of the problem, but just throwing money at it will not work," he said.
"We need to work with families, not just the perpetrators. We need a more holistic approach."
Mr Khan said he had already made the "difficult decision" to increase Council Tax across the capital to help pay for more police officers.
"My plan to tackle violent crime in London means being both tough on crime, and tough on the underlying causes of crime," he said.
"The causes of violent crime are complex and deep-rooted, but have been made far worse by huge government cuts to the police, schools, youth services and local councils.
"I have already taken the difficult decision to increase council tax to help pay for 1,300 more police officers, and am today launching a new £55.5m package to tackle the root causes of crime by reducing school exclusions, providing more mentors for young people creating more positive opportunities for disadvantaged young Londoners.
"This means that more than £100m will be invested in tacking violence this year."