Mercy Muroki: Sadiq Khan is a man without a plan and Dame Cressida Dick simply needs to get a grip
In London, it was a grim end to the year as two boys aged 15 and 16 became the final of 2021's teen stabbing victims
As 2021 came to a close, many of us up and down the country finished 2021 on a high note – a much higher note certainly than we ended 2020 on.
But in London, it was a grim end to the year as two boys aged 15 and 16 became the final of 2021's teen stabbing victims. 2021 is now THE bloodiest year on record when it comes to teenage homicides in the capital – which hit 30 for the first time.
And, though it's only day 5 of 2022, already detectives in London have launched their first murder investigation of the year as a man was stabbed to death in the capital just yesterday.
There is nowhere near enough scrutiny on the Mayor of London on this, he is the man with a direct mandate for policing in London, yet his record is abysmal.
It’s coming up to 5 years since his Knife Crime Strategy was last updated, the Violence Reduction Unit he set up in 2018 has clearly had no impact on knife crime.
He's a man without a plan. And as for Dame Cressida Dick, head of the Met Police – she simply needs to get a grip.
A report last year by think tank Policy Exchange made damning criticisms against the Met for failing to implement a coherent strategy in response to the bloodshed on London's streets.
I'm tired of hearing knife crime used to political point score. It's no use saying "it's all because the Tories closed the youth clubs".
The last teenage homicide record in London was in 2008 – that was after 11 years of a Labour government.
And maybe we should start holding parents more accountable? Is that so controversial?
When a child is not attending school enough – we hold parents to account through a range of measures.
A Parenting Order can be issued – forcing you to go to parenting classes. An Education Supervision Order can be issued, A School Attendance Order, and eventually a fine of up to £2,500 and even a jail sentence of 3 months.
These are the tools the authorities have at their disposal to ensure their children are sat in classrooms.
What tools do we have at our disposal to make sure children aren't stocking up machetes in their bedrooms ready to butcher their peers in the streets?
I'm not saying we should fine parents when their children go out stabbing people.
I'm simply saying that we have to ask what has gone so wrong with parenting when people’s teenage boys are out in street corners in darkness, on school days, with butchers knives in their bags.
But the solutions are much more complex.
Sadly, given the calibre of people leading the fight against knife crime, I won't be surprised if I'm right here next year saying the same thing.