‘Knife wands’, which tell if someone is carrying a blade, are now available to every London school, it was announced today in Brixton.
Sadiq Kahn and Met commissioner Cressida Dick announced the scheme at Dwaynamics, a boxing gym and community centre which aims to educate and give direction to young people on the Angel Town Estate.
Levels of knife crime have soared in the capital, and boroughs in south west London now have some of the highest rates.
In 2015 Lambeth came just behind Southwark with the second highest number of stabbings in the city (599), whilst Croydon on 439, Wandsworth on 259 and Kensington and Chelsea, on 189, also feature high up.
At Dwaynamics, run by minster Lorraine Jones, whose son Dwayne was murdered in a stabbing, they are confident new search powers in schools will make a positive impact.
Volunteer Angela Reid said: “We absolutely support what the mayor is trying to do in terms of searching people who are going into schools.
“We believe more powers are needed to protect young people and there needs to be a visible presence which enforces the law.
“We’re all delighted that action is being taken which means those who carry a knife are more likely to be caught.”
However they also pointed out the need for measures to deter people from carrying knives in the first place.
Ms Reid said: “The reason I wanted to get involved with the gym’s work is that I’ve got two children of my own. Anyone could be effected by knife crime and I want my children to grow up in a safe community.
“But I also want to make sure the area is safe for everyone, and I think it’s my duty to try and do so.”
The centre holds boxing sessions to offer people on the estate a constructive way to channel their aggression.
They also offer sessions giving people advice on CVs, interviews, starting a business and social interaction.
“I think it’s when people feel like they don’t have good opportunities that they turn to crime, so we try and educate people and stop that happening.”