Joan Ryan MP has joined the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime.
I have joined the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Knife Crime, a cross-party campaign in Parliament to tackle knife crime.
APPGs are groups run by and for Members of the House of Commons and House of Lords and are important forums for discussion and debate on many different issues. The APPG on Knife Crime aims to bring together anti-knife crime community campaigners, politicians and the police, in order to combat the scourge of knife crime.
In my first speech back in Parliament, I urged the Government to do more to tackle the growing problem of knife crime in Enfield. It’s vital we focus both on prevention, through better education about the consequences of carrying knives, on detection, with more visible policing, including introducing a new, responsible stop and search policy of youths suspected of carrying knives.
While the Government drags its feet, Sadiq Khan – the Mayor of London – has already answered my calls with his tough, new knife crime strategy. His plan includes measures to target lawbreakers, keep deadly weapons off our streets, and protect and educate young people. Mayor Sadiq Khan has also agreed to fund the first 21 of the 183 bobbies on the beat that the Tories have cut from Enfield’s streets. I will be meeting with him soon to discuss how we can further increase the number of police officers and community support officers in Enfield.
I’ve also met with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick, to talk about how we reduce knife crime. We’ve secured new body cameras for our police in Enfield to make stop and search more accountable to our communities, and thus more effective. Enfield police has a special anti-knife crime scheme called Operation Bremont and I’ll continue to work with them, with local residents and other agencies to keep our neighbourhoods safe. An important part of this is making sure our police are accessible to the public when they need them, so the news Enfield Police station is under threat of closure due to Government cuts to the Met Police is very concerning. I’ve already made urgent representations to the Home Secretary, demanding the Government give the Met the resources they need to safeguard our services.