The Knife Crime Epidemic- Protecting our young people

9 Oct 2023
Lib Dem logo bird projected on blockwork

We were all shocked by the horrific stabbing of a 15-year-old schoolgirl in Croydon recently, just after a teenager was stabbed to death in Petts Wood. It really feels like we’re in the middle of a knife crime epidemic, and young people are at the centre of it.

Knife crime is very complex, a social issue just as much as it is a criminal one, however it is harder to tackle without an effective youth justice system. By identifying the most at-risk young people, the youth justice system plays a crucial role in early intervention, working with those at high risk of offending and offering them support they need. This is only helped by well-funded youth services, which allow young people to feel part of a community while gaining access to specialist and legal support should they require it. Together, these institutions work to stop the crime before it is committed.

Conservative Bromley are failing on this front, having cut back on youth services, creating a chronically underfunded system. However, the importance of youth services for tackling knife crime could not be clearer, which is why the Bromley Lib Dems called for £75,000 in extra funding for the Bromley Youth Support Programme, as well as 5 new youth workers, when presenting their alternative budget to Bromley Council earlier this year. Nationally, the Liberal Democrats have also called for a return to community policing to effectively tackle knife crime.

It is time that we start properly supporting our 78,500 young people in the borough, treating knife crime like the public health issue that it is and properly funding youth services, to dissuade young people from picking up a knife, and to make our streets safer.

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