Knife Crime: West Midlands

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:00 am on 14 March 2023.

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Photo of Suzanne Webb Suzanne Webb Conservative, Stourbridge 11:00, 14 March 2023

I thank my right hon. Friend for making that point. I am keen to see early intervention. Where there is a failing police and crime commissioner, community groups seem to do a much better job of understanding and tackling the problem.

I am keen to ensure that we get into schools and local community groups. It would be fantastic to get perpetrators of the crime who have gone through the rehabilitation process to speak to young adults, and explain what it is like to go out with a knife, resulting in blood on their hands and ultimately a criminal record. They could explain that that is not a good thing. Equally, families of victims could speak to schoolchildren to explain that they have a choice: to carry a knife or not to carry a knife. If they carry a knife, they will be either the perpetrator or the victim.

On the point about the police and crime commissioner, one might criticise the two police and crime commissioners in post during this decade, which we do. That is reflected in the crime rate across the west Midlands at the moment. Knowing the Passey family so well, and being so close to the impacts of knife crime, I believe this is bigger than politics. Whoever is in post, we need to fix this and get a grip. Do not blame austerity, do not throw the political book at it, which I know the police and crime commissioner has done and would do; throw heart and commitment at stopping young adults carrying knives. That is what it is all about and what needs to be done.

This is skyrocketing crime and we need to stop it. We need to prevent more lives from being lost. Knife crime destroys lives and families, and it is blighting our communities. We need to take knives off our streets. Only yesterday, the chair of the West Midlands Police Federation called for a ban on the sale of machetes, as part of an all-out assault on knife crime. We need to listen to officers on the frontline. I would be happy to meet the Police Federation to hear more about what is happening on our streets.