A 27 per cent drop in knife crime offences is partly due to a year-long council scheme to reduce violent crime, a councillor has said.

The Waltham Forest Violence Partnership, a collaboration between the council, police, schools, NHS, housing associations, charities, and numerous other organisations, has been running for a year.

The partnership, a public health approach to tackling crime, works to provide young people opportunities through arts, sport, education and outreach, to ‘improve their life chances'.

The council has also worked on joint operations with the police to reduce crime in hotspots, trained community mentors to support ‘at risk’ young people, implemented gang exit programmes, and worked in schools to educate children.

In the last 12 months the borough has seen a 27 per cent reduction in knife crime.

Cllr Ahsan Khan, cabinet member for community safety, believes the reduction is evidence of the partnership's good work rather than a natural fall-off following a spike in violent crime the previous year.

He said: “When you compare the figures to the rest of London, violent crime has plateaued and ours has declined.

“The work we have done through this partnership, working together with the police and community groups to put young people at the heart of tackling the issue, is really paying off.”

Waltham Forest Council celebrated a year of the programme with a special performance by Leyton Sixth Form Students of a play about youth violence at Walthamstow Assembly Hall on Monday, November 4.

The performance of Lock Down, written and directed by Leyton Sixth Form drama teacher Katy Arnell, was watched by a full house and several schools via a live stream.

The pupils had been touring the show across the country over the last week, performing six times before the homecoming show in Walthamstow.

Speaking after the performance, Katy Arnell said: “I am achingly proud of these young people with every cell of my body and every time they perform this show they make me cry.

“If this isn’t an inspirational call to action then I don’t know what is.”