London MP sets up all-party group to combat knife crime

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A London MP will launch a parliamentary group on knife crime next month to try to find ways to reduce the number of young deaths.

Sarah Jones, MP for Croydon Central, said her aim was to find a “cross-party consensus on new measures to combat the resurgence in knife crime” and the accompanying rise in fatal stabbings in the capital.

The all-party parliamentary group on knife crime will hold its first meeting next month when MPs and peers return to Westminster. Ms Jones said it would seek to provide policy recommendations to the Government.

A particular focus will be on identifying the underlying causes of blade offences and the reasons why some young people decide to carry a knife, despite warnings that they are putting themselves more at risk by doing so. 

Ms Jones said families and individuals in her constituency who have been affected by knife crime would be among those consulted, as well as organisations tackling youth violence.

The Labour MP added: “Knife crime is devastating lives every day. Across England and Wales last year there were over 34,000 offences, up 20 per cent in one year.

“Three tragic teenage deaths in under 24 hours this month, one in Croydon, shows how urgently we need cross-party action in Parliament.

“I’m hoping this group can bring forward some new ideas and push this issue higher up the agenda in Westminster.”

Other group members include London Labour MPs Dawn Butler, Kate Osamor and Catherine West, and Will Quince, the Conservative MP for Colchester.

Ms Jones said they would be looking at “the complex reality of the knife crime epidemic” and would have a “particular focus on prevention and early intervention” rather than judicial and policing measures. 

A total of 15 London teenagers have died in knife attacks this year. The most recent victim was 15-year-old Jermaine Goupall, who was fatally stabbed in Thornton Heath earlier this month.

His death followed the killing of  Daniel Namanga, 19, in a mob attack outside the Afrikiko bar in Old Kent Road, Peckham.

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