Prime Minister has no answers on Croydon’s knife crime

Sarah Jones: more police needed

Concerned at the 76 per cent increase in youth knife crime in the borough in the past year, Sarah Jones, Croydon Central’s new MP, took the opportunity of Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday to demand more support for local police from the Tory government.

The latest police figures show 571 knife offences in Croydon in 2016.

Called by the Speaker at PMQs for the first time since she was elected in the General Election last month, Jones asked: “Does the Prime minister agree that the huge increase in knife crime has tragic consequences for families in constituencies like mine? What will the Prime Minister do to work with me and other MPs across this house to find solutions to this blight on young lives – including looking again at the budget for policing?”

The intervention comes as Jones, fellow Croydon Labour MP Steve Reed OBE and Tony Newman, the leader of Croydon Council, wrote to the Home Secretary Amber Rudd highlighting the worsening situation in Croydon.

The letter points out two cases where police in Croydon admitted they did not have sufficient officers to properly deal with knife crime incidents, and presses for “urgent intervention to ensure the police are properly equipped to keep the streets of Croydon safe from knife crime”.

Jones’s question to the interim Prime Minister also included a plea to look again at budgets for policing.

Theresa Maybe’s response was entirely as expected: another feeble gag at the expense of Jones’s predecessor as local MP, Gavin Barwell, and then a spewing forth of well-meaning platitudes and not a single commitment to anything.

Crime figures are beginning to present the latest serious credibility problem for May, since she spent six years as Home Secretary, in which time police numbers in England and Wales were cut by 20,000.

Nationally, official crime statistics published today show:

  • Violent crime up 18%
  • Robbery up 16%
  • Sex offences up 14%
  • Murder up 9%
  • Knife crime up 20%
  • Firearms offences up 23%

In Croydon, Conservative cuts to police budgets have seen Croydon lose 8 out of 10 of its community police officers.

The Met’s official figures on knife crime across the capita for 2016

In 12 months to March 2017, the number of young people injured in knife crime in Croydon rose by 76 per cent.

And shocking new figures obtained from the Metropolitan Police under Freedom of Information laws have revealed a total of 571 knife crime offences were recorded in the borough in 2016 – more than 10 offences involving knives every week.

Since becoming MP, Jones has begun work to establish a cross-party group within parliament specifically focused on knife crime.

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3 Responses to Prime Minister has no answers on Croydon’s knife crime

  1. arnorab says:

    Oh,come on now! Be fair. Theresa May is responsible for a lot of things but not for the continuous rise in knife crime in our beloved borough. Not directly, that is but many of the policies she espoused when Home Secretary and her support for austerity have contributed to the growth of a society where young people have little trust in or respect for authority and where they exist in a sort of parallel universe in which extreme violence is an accepted part of social behaviour. Theresa Maybot now also exists in a parallel universe of her very own, one in which meaningless platitudes of unbelievable banality take the place of real policy or comprehension. There is a President in North America who is much the same. The odds are about even as to which of them will lose their job first.

    • Nick Davies says:

      Maybe our Mr Philp is after her job on the basis that the Paul Nuttall school of fantasy gets you the leadership of an increasingly pointless political party. At least for a while, anyway.

  2. davidjl2014 says:

    We could start by punishing the parents of kids under the age of 18 who have become an important statistic in the increase of knife crime. A £1,000 fine for the first offence might just make these people question why they are allowing their offspring to walk the streets with such anti-social weapons. The British Police Force was formed to prevent crime and look what’s happened.

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