Sadiq Khan: Nothing keeps me up at night more than knife crime.
London mayor Sadiq Khan has described knife crime as one of his biggest worries.
Speaking to the Fabian Society's new year conference in London as he prepares to fight for re-election in May, he said: "It is tragic. There is nothing that keeps me up at night more than knife crime.
"Literally a stone's throw from my house somebody was stabbed to death, so it is personal to me and also as the father of two teenage children."
Mr Khan said an increase in violent crime across the country began in 2014 but "it is important that we have hope".
As well as the loss of "thousands and thousands of police officers" in the past nine years in London, Mr Khan said: "We have lost thousands of community support officers, hundreds of youth clubs have closed down, after-school clubs have closed down, and there is a link between the cuts and the increase in violent crime.
"There is a link between youth clubs closing down, after-school clubs not being available, and what we are seeing in relation to deprivation and inequality across our cities."
He said he has used money from business rates to invest in a fund to open youth centres and intervene in schools to stop youngsters being excluded "in the first place, which is a big issue".
He backed a "public health approach" involving working with the NHS, the youth sector, civic society, police, probation services, councils and schools.
Council tax has also been increased to invest in more police, he said.Published: by Radio NewsHub