Knife crime – serious concerns in Brent and Harrow

NS2“I have seen the devastating impact of violent crime on my doorstep – last year, there were 89 stabbings in Harrow and 202 in Brent” informs the Brent-Harrow London assembly member Navin Shah (photo).
“The consequences for the people involved, their families and the wider community are heart-breaking” he said.
Knife crime has risen by 60% in England and Wales since 2013/14 and by 46% in London over the same period.
The Mayor of London has taken action to clamp down on the rise in violent crime. In 2017, the Mayor launched City Hall’s first ever ‘dedicated anti-knife crime strategy’ that included the establishment of a new Violent Crime Taskforce comprising of 272 officers working to take weapons off the streets and targeting the most dangerous criminals in the capital.
Also, London mayor’s new Violence Reduction Unit will build on the preventative action already taken by the Mayor such as the establishment of the £45 million Young Londoners Fund.
However, the government have been slow to act and inconsistent in their approach to tackling violent crime, reminds Navin Shah. He said Theresa May, the prime minister, had initially suggested police numbers did not make a difference on crime levels, only to equivocate on the issue after.
Likewise, while the home secretary has called on the government to treat knife crime as a public health issue, the health secretary has dismissed this idea, stating: ‘If you say it’s a public health issue that implies it’s nobody’s fault‘.
“We desperately need the government to show leadership on tackling knife crime and not only reverse the cuts that it has made to policing but to properly fund youth services, education and housing services which are all factors which increase the likelihood of a person committing violent crime” said Mr Shah.
Recent rise in the stabbings in Harrow has raised questions about the usefulness of the youth work in Harrow, Harrow Safer Neighbourhood Board and the effectiveness of the Harrow Police & Crime Plan (PCP) priority to reduce the number of young people involved in youth violence and gang crime and to decrease the number of young people carrying offensive weapons. Further concern that the Harrow youth violence scrutiny review lacks rigour .