Sajid Javid defends proposed new anti-terror laws, promises action to stop senseless violence in London, 74 murders in capital sofar this year, situation alarming

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LONDON: The Home Secretary Sajid Javid has promised urgent action to halt the “senseless” violence on London’s streets as he told of his dismay at the latest attacks. The Home Secretary said a series of short-term measures — including a further clampdown on offensive weapons — would be implemented immediately. He was speaking at a meeting of the Government’s serious violence taskforce, with Met Commissioner Cressida Dick, Mayor Sadiq Khan and MPs. He also backed more action against drugs gangs and early intervention to divert vulnerable young people from crime.

Sajid Javid

It follows a surge in fatal stabbings and shootings, with more than 70 deaths. Mr Javid told the summit: “Tragically, this weekend we saw more violent attacks resulting in devastating losses on the streets of London. “This senseless violence cannot go on and I — along with the police, community partners and cross-party colleagues — am committed to finding an urgent solution.” The Mayor has blamed cuts for the problems. But Mr Javid rejected this, saying: “There will be those who say the increase in serious violence is solely a police funding issue — but I do not agree. “We have already identified a range of complex issues, especially changes in the drugs market.”

Anti-terror laws

Meanwhile, Sajid Javid has defended the Government’s proposed new anti-terror laws, insisting they are “not part of a sinister strategy to create an Orwellian state”. He said critics have “wrongfully” argued that the legislation risks criminalising thought. Last week ministers unveiled a raft of measures aimed at boosting anti-terror laws following five attacks last year. A number of existing offences will be tweaked under the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill to close off potential loopholes. For example, the offence of inviting support for a banned terror group will be extended to capture the expression of supportive opinions that are “reckless as to whether others will be encouraged to support the organisation”.

Three stabbed in London

A teenage boy has been critically wounded and two others injured in three unrelated stabbings across London. The 17- year-old was found stabbed in Coles Crescent, Harrow, after police were alerted at 20:11 BST. Two other men, both aged in their 20s, were injured in separate stabbings in Northolt, west London, and Brixton, south London. Both are in a stable condition, the Metropolitan Police said. Detectives said a male was arrested near the scene of the stabbing of the 20-year-old in Northolt. The arrested person arrested, whose age is not yet known, was in custody at a west London police station, the Met added. The third victim was found injured when police were called at about 18:20 to Southwell Road in Lambeth, south London. No arrests have been made in either inquiry. According to a BBC report, the killing near Turnpike Lane Tube station in Haringey is the Met’s 74th murder investigation this year.