AN MP has warned of knife crime in London spiralling out to affect towns such as Andover.

In the wake of four fatal stabbings in the capital over 24 hours on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, North West Hampshire MP Kit Malthouse has warned the problem can affect towns like Andover.

Mr Malthouse, previously London’s deputy mayor for policing, has said the performance of the Metropolitan Police is in the interests of people beyond the capital due to the movement of London crime in to other towns across the south east.

The MP wrote a comment article in the London Evening Standard on the subject. Referring to the article in a Facebook post, he said: “My biggest challenge [as deputy mayor for policing] was dealing with knife crime and during my term we got teenage killings down from 29 to just eight in 2012.

“So when I read about the multiple stabbings in the capital at New Year I decided to write about my experience and what needs to be done yet again to help with this problem.

“You may think this is only a London problem, but what starts there often ends up in towns like Andover, and London gangs do travel down the A303 to deal drugs in our area - that’s why it is in all our interests that the Metropolitan Police perform at the top of their game.”

Hampshire Constabulary, in response to the claims, said it regularly works with London’s police force and that “county lines” is a national problem.

Test Valley district commander, Chief Inspector Kory Thorne said: “We do not tolerate organised networks that bring Class A drugs and associated criminality into cities and towns in Hampshire, including Andover.

“This county lines problem is a national one and Hampshire Constabulary regularly works with other law enforcement agencies, including the Metropolitan Police, to disrupt these networks and safeguard vulnerable people affected by them.

“While incidents of associated knife crime are rare in Andover, we are not complacent and will do all we can with the resources available to pursue these crime networks.”