MPs Debate Knife Crime As Violent Crime Surges Higher In The Capital

Three local MPs headed a debate on knife crime in Parliament on Thursday.

MPs John Cryer (Leyton and Wanstead), Iain Duncan Smith (Chingford and Woodford Green) and Stella Creasy (Walthamstow) secured the debate on Thursday January 24 and in it Mr Cryer called for a public inquiry into rising knife crime rates

He said: “We have seen a wave of violent crime across London and beyond but particularly knife crime.

“It appears that some teenagers don’t feel safe without knives, and it is killing them.”

The MP suggested cuts to youth services could be to blame for increases in knife crime, saying without those youth clubs, young people are left “exposed to dangerous environments”.

Mr Cryer called for early intervention to keep youngsters away from gangs and weapons but also blamed “excessive” cuts to police and indeed councils for rises in violence between young people.

He said: “Police, social workers, voluntary organisations, are all a shadow of what they were. Resources matter and London is now dealing with a desperate situation to which there will not be an easy solution.”

The MP then called for a public enquiry into the issue, to listen to young people and come to some sort of a conclusion.

In the debate Iain Duncan Smith said: “Knife crime is a problem nationally, a problem in London and a particular problem in the borough that the three of us represent.

“The issue of knife crime tends to be shovelled away because the media too often see it as a spat between members of different gangs; it only ever breaks the surface when somebody they cannot pigeonhole is abused, as in the terrible event that happened recently.

“In my borough, Waltham Forest, the number of knife crime offences was 27.34 per cent higher than in the previous year. This is a growing problem.

He said: “We have seen a wave of violent crime across London and beyond but particularly knife crime.

“It appears that some teenagers don’t feel safe without knives, and it is killing them.”

The MP suggested cuts to youth services could be to blame for increases in knife crime, saying without those youth clubs, young people are left “exposed to dangerous environments”.

Mr Cryer called for early intervention to keep youngsters away from gangs and weapons but also blamed “excessive” cuts to police and indeed councils for rises in violence between young people.

He said: “Police, social workers, voluntary organisations, are all a shadow of what they were. Resources matter and London is now dealing with a desperate situation to which there will not be an easy solution.”

The MP then called for a public enquiry into the issue, to listen to young people and come to some sort of a conclusion.

In the debate Iain Duncan Smith said: “Knife crime is a problem nationally, a problem in London and a particular problem in the borough that the three of us represent.

“The issue of knife crime tends to be shovelled away because the media too often see it as a spat between members of different gangs; it only ever breaks the surface when somebody they cannot pigeonhole is abused, as in the terrible event that happened recently.

“In my borough, Waltham Forest, the number of knife crime offences was 27.34 per cent higher than in the previous year. This is a growing problem.

Stella Creasy added: “First and foremost, I pay tribute to the family of Jaden Moodie, who are with us today. They have shown incredible courage and strength at such a difficult time by being here and being so determined about the future.

“In the last 18 months, we have buried six children in our community—children killed by other children. The others were Elijah Dornelly, Kacem Mokrane, Joseph William-Torres, who was known as Nico, Amaan Shakoor and Guled Farah. Each of their families, like Jaden’s family, is grieving for the life they have lost.

“They are now asking for our help so that no other family will go through this horror.

“They need a Government who join the dots and recognise that too many of our young people are struggling in education, are vulnerable to exploitation and are therefore vulnerable to such challenges.

“We must ensure that young people receive alternative provision and that we see those young people as worthy of fighting for. Please, I do not want another child in our community to be buried because of knife crime ever again. It is preventable, and if we work together, we can stop it.”

In a report, the Commons Home Affairs Committee said the “worrying” prevalence of young people carrying knives is “mostly motivated by fear and a lack of faith” in the ability of “natural protectors” like police and parents to keep them safe.

The committee said efforts to reduce knife-carrying should be directed at these root causes.


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