Sarah Jones, the MP for Croydon Central, renewed her calls for more police on our streets after the latest shocking murder in the borough, when a 20-year-old man was stabbed and killed in broad daylight yesterday, outside the Albert Tavern on Albert Road, South Norwood.
Members of the victim’s family are reported to have been at the scene, but the police have not yet named him publicly, and an investigation is on-going. Detective Inspector Tom Dahri, who is heading the murder investigation, said: “A young man has been murdered and we are doing everything we can to catch those involved.
“This sustained attack happened at rush hour when a lot of people would have been walking or driving home through the area.”
The shocking event is just the latest in a tragically rising toll of knife crime in the city. The killings of four young men in separate incidents in London on New Year’s Eve brought the total number of deaths from knife crime in the capital in 2017 to 80.
Since becoming an MP last June, Jones has campaigned in parliament and her constituency to provide solutions to the soaring number of knife crimes.
Today, Jones said, “It is with a heavy heart that I once again have to relay news of the fatal stabbing of a young man in Croydon. My heart goes out to his family and friends. A life is lost and other lives ruined. And all for what?
“The Government must act. We need more police on our streets. We need greater use of measures that get perpetrators and suspects away from crime such as electronic tagging, social media bans and intervention programmes.
“We need to invest now, but to reduce knife crime permanently we need a 10-year plan focused on preventing young people from carrying knives in the first place – a public health approach.
“That means education, youth work, apprenticeships, work experience, mentoring – immunising future generations against violence. The plan needs to involve community groups, young people, faith groups, charities and others with grassroots experience. We have a wealth of those groups in Croydon and we need to find ways to work together better.
“I’m not in government, but if I was I would do six things right now:
“Put a team of youth workers into all major trauma centres across England and Wales to intervene with young people who’ve been stabbed and break the revenge cycle of violence.
“Embed mental health professionals in secondary schools and pupil referral units, targeted initially to schools in areas of high youth violence and set a target to reduce the number of exclusions of children with special needs.
“Reverse cuts to youth services and properly fund local community and mentoring groups, setting a minimum number for youth centres in a local area (like libraries).
“Recruit thousands of additional community police officers, putting our police and communities firmly on the same side against violence
“Make personal health and social education (PHSE) teaching mandatory in schools, with specifically trained teachers focused on healthy relationships, violence prevention programmes and life skills.
“Re-invest in a careers advice system, and encourage companies to play their part, offering more work experience and using HR staff to give expert career advice rather than having teachers take all the responsibility.”
And Jones concluded her statement by praising the recent announcement by Croydon Council of a £250,000 community fund.
“If you’re involved in a project to reduce knife crime, I urge you to apply. We all need to pull together to solve this.
“I’m in close contact with Croydon’s borough police commander and the council about this case as more details emerge. I urge anyone with information to speak to the police as soon as possible.”
- Anyone with information can call police in the incident room on 0208 721 4961.
- You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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