London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he's "deeply concerned about the rise in knife crime on London's streets." To help combat the issue, secondary schools in the capital will be able to request metal detecting wands to screen students for weapons.
Schools will also get their own "safer schools" police officer as part of steps to prevent knife-related crime announced by Khan on Tuesday, The Guardian reported.
“We need to send a strong signal that carrying and using knives is totally and utterly unacceptable," Khan said. “And we need to do more to educate young people around the dangers of carrying knives if we are to cut injuries and deaths.”
The mayor's office reported that 24 Londoners under 25 have been stabbed and killed in the city so far this year. Attacks with bladed weapons in London jumped 24 percent in 2016.
Schools will be offered the opportunity to apply for a knife detector with the mayor's office. About a dozens London schools are already using the wands, The Guardian reported.
The mayor is also urging the government to reverse cuts to such youth services.
“Young Londoners have lost tens of millions of pounds in funding for youth services since 2011 and this simply has to stop," Khan said. “The only way we can truly beat the scourge of knife crime on our streets is by properly funding youth services -- the government needs to step up, reverse these cuts and help provide the services we need to tackle knife crime.”