Knife Crime

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:49 pm on 4th March 2019.

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Photo of Richard Burden Richard Burden Labour, Birmingham, Northfield 3:49 pm, 4th March 2019

The call from my hon. Friend the shadow Minister and others for Cobra to be convened is not just about recognising this as a national emergency, which it is; it is also about ensuring that the cross-Government approach, which the Home Secretary says he recognises, is actually delivered on the ground, right across the country, with the resources needed to back it up, whether through early intervention work to identify the young people most at risk of getting involved in gangs and knife crime, or by reducing the level of school exclusions, which in all too many cases is a route into knife crime. I put it to him that what he said about resources rings pretty hollow in the west midlands, given that we have lost 2,000 police officers over the past nine years and are facing nearly 300 incidents of knife crime this year already. Will he now respond to the call from the West Midlands police and crime commissioner for an emergency funding package so that we can address this problem in a consistent and effective way?