We need a ceasefire with gangs to tackle London’s knife crime epidemic, says Shaun Bailey

A ‘ceasefire’ to tackle knife crime was proposed by the Conservative mayoral candidate today.

Shaun Bailey vowed to implement ‘Operation London Ceasefire’ to stop gang violence, following in the footsteps of a similar initiative launched in Boston, USA, which led to a significant decline in youth homicides.

His focus was on meeting   gang members and criminals to work with them and provide them with a way out of the criminal lifestyle.

Mr Bailey said: “We’re going to call those gangs in and I’m going to sit them down.”

The plan would involve opening a dialogue between gangs and police and explaining that if gangs were to ‘go the right way’, they would be supported by police.

The mayoral candidate also emphasised the importance of ‘strengthening communities’ and strong families in the impassioned speech at the Centre for Social Justice, pictured above.

A former youth worker, Mr Bailey also focused on adult education and its role in encouraging young gang members to move away from crime and focus on meaningful employment.

A running theme in his speech though was fiscal responsibility, saying problems should not be blamed entirely on cuts, and that the funding London needs is already there, just in the wrong places.

“You will always get from me a fully costed policy,” he said.

“No throwing money at it, no blaming others, because money doesn’t solve everything.”

He criticised charities for overspending of limited funds on admin work and said he would encourage charities to outsource these tasks.

“My worry is that the money is being spread so wide, for political reasons rather than for delivery reasons,” he said.

“I’d say to people in the charitable sector, let’s figure out how we can work together to increase the effectiveness of whatever money we have. When it comes to social issues, you can always spend more money.”

A spokesman for Mr Khan told the Evening Standard: “London is already doing or has previously tried the measures Shaun Bailey has suggested.

“Shaun Bailey was the Tory youth and crime adviser in Downing Street when the Tories cut £1bn from the Met Police and millions more from youth services, mental health services and schools.

“And today we have learned that Bailey thinks that more police officers are ‘absolutely useless’ at deterring crime.

“He is simply not fit to keep Londoners safe.”

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