Susanna Reid has spoken about the “fear and fury” she felt when she was mugged at knifepoint, and her concern for her three teenage sons growing up in London.
The Good Morning Britain star, who last year revealed the attack near her home in south London, said she is terrified for her children every time they leave the house as knife crime reaches a record high.
She called on mayor of London Sadiq Khan to focus on tackling the issue, and on the Government to invest in young people at risk.
Writing in the Daily Mail, she said: “Afterwards, there was basically nothing police could do.
“Overwhelmed by fear and fury, I couldn’t identify the boy. I felt useless, and sensed the police were frustrated, but I was simply too shocked.
“For months afterwards I feared anyone walking close to me on the street, totally losing my trust.
“I am now the mother of three teenage boys living in south London, not far from the site of that attack. Knife crime is far worse, and lives are being lost on a frightening scale.”
She added: “The news of each latest stabbing — like the two 17-year-olds killed in Milton Keynes at the weekend — makes me fear for my boys whenever they step out of the door.
“And how is the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, spending his time? Well, over the weekend, as mums like me worried about letting their children out on the streets, he joined protesters in a march — to campaign for a second referendum on Brexit.
“I know Sadiq — he is a father himself, he lives near me and I believe in his heart he is concerned about knife crime.
“But I was deeply disappointed to see him distracted from what he claims is his top priority, keeping Londoners safe.”
Reid called for a “pincer movement” to tackle crime and the causes of crime and said restoring police budgets must come first.
She added: “We must also invest in young people at risk, to keep them on the straight and narrow. Otherwise gangs are only too happy to step into the gap. Youth clubs are vital as are programmes like Divert, which works with under-25s who have been arrested.
“The crime against me was fleeting. I lost just a small amount of money, a degree of trust and a raincoat. But I am broken by the agony of those who have suffered the worst. The loss of a child, a sibling, a parent.
“To those including Sadiq Khan who say solving the epidemic of knife crime will take a generation. Sorry, but our children don’t have that long. And they deserve better.”