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[1st Day]

Part of Debate on the Address – in the House of Commons at 7:20 pm on 21st June 2017.

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Photo of Joan Ryan Joan Ryan Labour, Enfield North 7:20 pm, 21st June 2017

I agree absolutely, which is why we need police in our community, building community relationships. For those, mostly teenagers and young men, who are stabbing each other—or being stabbed—we have a duty to protect them from themselves. We have failed somewhere along the line. The Government cannot wash their hands of responsibility for any increase in crime, given that they have made such swingeing cuts to our safer neighbourhoods teams. It is no coincidence that the 70% rise in violent crime in Enfield has come at exactly the same time as 188 police officers and police community support officers have been removed from our streets. Nor is it a coincidence that violent crime has increased so sharply at exactly the same time as it became harder for our police to carry out “stop and search” of youths suspected of carrying knives. Since 2012, stop and search in London has fallen by 70%, and last year we saw a 24% rise in the number of knife crime offences across the capital. Parents from all sections of the community in Enfield are crying out for a new, workable, responsible stop and search policy, because teenagers are being stabbed to death every few weeks. I know there was a problem with stop and search, but I think that could be sorted. Despite the best efforts of our police service in Enfield, it is nigh on impossible for them to maintain a highly visible police presence on our streets when we now have only about 550 police officers attempting to protect a population of 330,000 people.