Boris Johnson speaks about tackling youth crime in Brent

The Mayor of London said mentoring and parenting classes were crucial to the fight against youth crime

Boris Johnson has pledged to crack down on youth violence in Brent by promoting mentoring and training.

The Mayor of London told the Times that cutting funds to youth projects is a mistake, and said that by sending mentors into schools to give troubled young people one to one guidance he hoped to divert them away from gangs.

Responding to concerns that town hall cuts and rising unemployment will fuel crime, Mr Johnson said he had ‘made the case vehemently to the Government about protecting London from cuts because it is a false economy’.

He added: “We need to do something that is going to impact on the kids who are most in need.

“The problems are kicking in with children aged 0 to three. I really believe in parenting classes. There are parents who feel insecure and they need help. We want to provide that.”

Mr Johnson, who was at Capital City Academy, in Doyle Gardens, Willesden, to hear people’s views about youth crime, also urged youth groups struggling with the cuts to apply for a slice of the �15million Team London fund.

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Kit Malthouse, the deputy mayor for policing, echoed his boss’s commitment to fight youth crime, and gave assurances that Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs) and Operation Trident, the Met’s specialist gun crime unit, will stay.

Although he said that some SNT sergeants may work across ward boundaries.

He said: “SNTs are absolutely vital. Although the police are looking at whether there is any flexibility in terms of working across ward boundaries.

“The number of police officers in Brent will not go down, and their overall presence will increase.”