Croydon’s knife crime epidemic needs urgent government action, according to the area’s newest MP, and she lost no time in raising the issue during the last Prime Minister’s Questions before Parliament’s summer break.
Croydon Central MP Sarah Jones addressed Theresa May last Thursday for the first time since securing her seat in the June general election.
Pressed the PM today for more support to tackle knife crime. Can’t afford to let situation get worse. Too many lives at stake. pic.twitter.com/j79Lq90lfu
— Sarah Jones MP (@LabourSJ) July 19, 2017
Jones told MPs that the “huge increase in knife crime has tragic consequences for families in constituencies like mine”
Urging cross-party action she added: “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?”
Her appeal comes after a joint letter to the Home Secretary Amber Rudd from Jones, Croydon North MP Steve Reed and Council Leader Tony Newman, underlining the severity of the situation in Croydon.
The number of young people injured by knife crime in the borough increased by 76 percent in the year leading up to March 2017.
The letter highlights two incidents where Croydon police admitted they did not have sufficient officers to effectively deal with knife attacks and pressed for “urgent intervention to ensure the police are properly equipped to keep the streets of Croydon safe from knife crime.”
Jones also urged the Prime Minister to revise policing budgets.
Frontline police numbers have been cut by 20,000 nationally in the last six years, while Croydon has lost eight in 10 of its community police officers due to budget cuts.
Figures released by the Met Police reveal that Croydon averaged more than 10 knife crime offences per week in 2016, with a total of 571 incidents.