Is Knife Crime becoming normalised on our streets?

10 Nov 2022
Lib Dem logo bird projected on blockwork

Lib Dem Councillor Graeme Casey witnessed a disturbing instance of knife culture in Orpington Walnuts Shopping Centre on Saturday 5th November. No one was injured, and Cllr Casey immediately called the Police to report it but it underlined just how normal it has become to see people carrying knives.

Whilst walking towards the Shopping Centre. Cllr Casey saw two youths approach a third. All were wearing dark puffer jackets, one with a mask covering the lower half of his face, one wearing a ski mask. All had their hoods up. It was neither raining hard nor particularly cold. As the two approached the third they all began to get rather agitated and it became very threatening. One of the group of two was very concerned that the third young man kept reaching towards his right hip. You could plainly see a very large knife sheath. The other two in turn kept reaching behind themselves. Although no knives were drawn, the intention was quite clear. The third youth took the opportunity to run towards the Walnuts Shopping Centre away from the pair. The pair made as if to run off after him before deciding to run towards the High Street.

Meanwhile other shoppers walked past and tried to ignore it. This was just before 5pm and Cllr Casey was waiting for one of his children. He called the Police and they arrived in force in about 10 minutes. However as I am sure you can appreciate, that is too long a wait.

Cllr Casey said: "Despite the fact that over the last year Orpington has been witness to shooting and stabbing incidents I have yet to see any increased visible Police presence. This is no criticism of the Police, I appreciate that they have an incredibly hard job to fulfil despite the cuts to their service. The thing that concerns me most is the 'normalising' that I witnessed, I have no wish to see this become the norm, I want all our children to be able to walk down the high street and eat a meal, go swimming or enjoy a film without their parents worrying that something tragic might befall them."

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