Livingstone attacks Boris’s record on knife crime

KEN Livingstone yesterday pledged to put a police officer in all of London’s 432 state schools as part of a major crackdown on knife crime.

On the same day that Boris Johnson launched his policing manifesto, Livingstone accused the Conservative mayor of failing to confront a 16 per cent rise in knife crime in the last three years.

“Tory rhetoric about crime has not been matched by results and the mayor’s endless gimmicks haven’t cracked the problem,” he said.

“The impact of knife crime and violence on daily lives of Londoners can be devastating. I spent last year meeting residents in every borough and the message came over loud and clear – growing levels of knife crime are a serious concern.”

Figures from the Metropolitan Police and City Hall show that the number of offences involving a knife increased during Johnson’s first term, with 2,036 more offences last year than there were between March 2008 and March 2009.

But Kit Malthouse, Johnson’s deputy mayor for policing, said he was “not going to take lectures off a man who ignored knife crime to such an extent that he didn’t even think it was worth recording figures for it.”

BORIS JOHNSON

■ 2,000 extra officers to increase the size of neighbourhood policing teams.

■ Double the number of Special Constables to 10,000 and offer a council tax rebate to those who volunteer.

■ Double the size of the Met’s Status Dogs Unit to tackle dangerous animals.

■ Develop a smartphone app to allow crimes to be reported more easily.

KEN LIVINGSTONE

■ Offer a police officer to 432 London schools to tackle knife crime.

■ Reintroduce the “City Safe Havens” scheme to provide refuge for those in immediate danger of attack.

■ Reinstate sergeants to all 600 neighbourhood policing teams.

■ Return overall numbers of police officers to the 2008 high of 33,260.