by Ian Shires on 3 April, 2019
The Liberal Democrats have warned that the knife crime epidemic won’t be resolved by “imposing legal duties without providing additional resources” and have called for the Government to properly fund a public health approach.
The call comes as the Prime Minister hosts a youth violence summit in Downing Street today.
Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:
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Knife crime is an epidemic, and like any epidemic tackling it requires a public health approach.
Police, teachers, health professionals, youth workers and social services all have an important role to play in preventing more young people falling prey to gangs and violence. But the Tories’ approach of imposing legal duties without providing additional resources simply won’t work, given how overstretched these services are already.
Worse still, Sajid Javid’s approach is incoherent. At the same time as he talks about a public health approach, his policies are directly undermining it. Expanding suspicion-less Stop & Search and introducing knife-ASBOs will consume police time and erode trust in the police, while doing virtually nothing to actually prevent knife crime.
The Liberal Democrats demand better. Ministers must abandon these ineffective and counterproductive policies. Instead, we are proposing Anti-Blade Contracts that would be far more effective, far less time-consuming for police, and far more compatible with a broader public health approach.
And the Government must fund the public health approach properly. Only by putting more community police officers on the streets and restoring youth services can we combat the shocking rise in knife crime.