Karim Brohi, a trauma surgeon at the Royal London Hospital and director of London’s major trauma system, said in a statement on Saturday that while knife violence was “a serious issue” in London, “to suggest guns are part of the solution is ridiculous.”
He added: “Gunshot wounds are at least twice as lethal as knife injuries and more difficult to repair. We are proud of our world-leading service and to serve the people of London.”
Knife crime in Britain rose by 21 percent last year, according to figures released in September by the Office for National Statistics, which compiles an authoritative survey of crime in England and Wales, and stabbings in London were at their highest level in six years. At least 38 people in London have died from knife crime so far this year, according to the Metropolitan Police.
A government poster campaign in some parts of London has promoted the virtues of “living knife free.”
Analysts say that the surge in violent crime has been driven by factors like rivalries between drug gangs, cuts to youth services and social programs and the ease with which teenagers can now taunt and provoke one another on social media.
The American president previously suggested that schoolteachers should get a “bit of a bonus” to carry guns — a position backed by the N.R.A. But in February, under pressure after a gunman killed 17 people at a school in Florida, he ordered the Justice Department to consider banning so-called bump stocks, which allow semiautomatic guns to fire at nearly the rate of a machine gun.
Mr. Trump’s latest remarks came weeks after he accepted Prime Minister Theresa May’s invitation to come to Britain, after canceling an earlier plan to visit.