Sadiq Khan Defends His Record on Knife and Gun Crime

New figures show both rose by a fifth in London last year

Sadiq Khan being interviewed about gun and knife crime data

April 26, 2024

Knife and gun crime in London both rose last year by about 20 per cent, official statistics revealed on Thursday.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 14,626 knife offences were recorded by police in the capital in the 12 months to December 2023.

That was 22 per cent higher than the 2022 total of 12,034 offences, and meant that an average of 40 blade offences were committed each day in London last year.

A 20 per cent rise was seen in gun crimes with 1,208 such offences during 2023, up by nearly 200 on the 1,010 recorded by police a year earlier.

Commenting on the figures, Tory mayoral candidate Susan Hall said: “Knife crime is out of control in Sadiq Khan’s London and he is just not listening.

“I am listening to Londoners, which is why I will recruit 1,500 more police, bring back borough-based policing and give every frontline officer knife detection wands so we can get more knives off our streets.”

Some 9,694 knife crimes were recorded in the capital in the year to the end of March 2016, just before Mr Khan took office. The latest figure of 14,626 in 2023 is a 51 per cent rise since the start of his mayoralty.

Asked on Thursday if he takes any responsibility for the most recent rise in these crimes, Mr Khan said: “It’s really important that we do what we can to address the complex causes of crime, as well as crime itself.

“That’s why for some time we’ve been investing in the police but also investing in young people as well. I spend too much time, both as an MP and now as mayor, speaking to bereaved families and victims of crime.

“The causes of crime are complex, but actually straightforward – deprivation, poverty, alienation, lack of opportunity. You’ve got to deal with those. That’s why we’re investing in youth clubs.

“At the same time, you’ve got to be tough on crime, you’ve got to invest in the police.

“We’ve made some progress. So according to the ONS, you’re less likely to be a victim of violence in London than the rest of the country. According to the ONS, you’re less likely to be injured in London, than the rest of the country.”


He said that if he is re-elected, and if Labour form the next Government, he looks forward to making “more progress”.

He added: “We’ve increased by more than double the amount of investment in the police – £1.148billion. We now contribute 27 per cent towards the police, it used to be 19 per cent when I became mayor.

“We can’t carry on doing this, with one hand tied behind my back. We need Government support.”

Noah Vickers - Local Democracy Reporter