London police: Knife crime replaces terror as police priority

Xinhua | July 5, 2008
By An Lu

LONDON, July 5 (Xinhua) -- Knife crime has overtaken terrorism as the top priority for London Metropolitan Police, British newspaper The Times reported on Saturday.

The authorities have established a special anti-knife-crime unit to address the recent spate of fatal stabbings in the British capital, Paul Stephenson, deputy commissioner of London Metropolitan Police, was quoted as saying.

His announcement came after a 16-year-old boy became the 18th teenager that had been killed in violence in London this year. There were 26 youth murders in 2007.

Stephenson admitted that police's previous attempts to stop teenagers from carrying weapons did not work.

The unit, grouping specialist officers from across the capital, will target known gang members and their associates who may be carrying or supplying knives, and it will also conduct random searches, according to the report.