Campaign update: Thursday 25th January
Yesterday I met with the Home Secretary, James Cleverly and the Leader of the Opposition, Keir Starmer, and Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper. I was joined by members of the communities most impacted by knife crime, and those working tirelessly to put an end to this violence. It was clear from both meetings that there is appetite from across the political spectrum to work to put an end to this. It’s encouraging that they were all open to ideas and collaboration and we are hopeful for what lies ahead. Through this campaign, we will also continue to hold them all to account and make sure we get action, not just words.
Today’s announcement from the Home Secretary that new legislation will be introduced to ban zombie knives and machetes is a significant step in the right direction. We need to ensure no loopholes can be exploited, and we will keep pushing for all dangerous weapons to be covered by the ban. It has taken too long to get here, so we must now make sure we get it right.
It’s essential that the ban is introduced as quickly as the Parliamentary process allows, and we won’t be afraid to speak up if we feel that isn’t happening. This is also just the start of the huge amount of work that needs to be done to get to grips with the root causes of serious youth violence.
We all need to be laser-focused on addressing the long-term causes of serious youth violence and to give young people a reason not to pick up a knife in the first place. We know that this won’t happen overnight and will require long-term, sustained efforts and critical thinking from every part of society. We will be there every step of the way and will do whatever we can to help stop young people from needlessly losing their lives to knife crime.
As well as this ban, we need to properly invest in youth services, to give our young people the hope and opportunities they deserve. We need to introduce a Coalition to End Knife Crime to improve dialogue and collaboration between the services with a role to play in tackling this issue. And we need to bring young people and tech companies properly into the conversation.
We owe it to our young people to do everything we can to help keep them safe.