Over the past week since Parliament returned from the summer break, I've continued my campaign against knife crime.
Last week I held a debate on this topic in the House of Commons which was attended by MPs of various parties. I challenged the Minister to develop a 10-year National Knife Crime Strategy.
This week, my cross-party group on knife crime was officially launched. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime has had a strong response from MPs from across the country, with over 30 MPs and Lords signed up as members.
Click 'Read more' below to learn more and watch my full speech in the House of Commons.
Inaugural meeting of the APPG on Knife Crime
During my speech last week I highlighted growing concerns around the use of social media and the online world by young people, and the ability of schools to cope with the issues experienced by young people in the face of budget cuts. In her response, the Minister agreed to work with our new APPG on Knife Crime and confirmed that the Home Office would be making more funding available to community groups. I'll continue to work with organisations in Croydon and try to get some of this funding to our fantastic local groups.
You can watch my speech in full below:
I was grateful to the many MPs and Lords who attended the first meeting of the APPG on Knife Crime this week. They bring huge experience and enthusiasm to this tough issue. At the meeting I was confirmed as Chair of the group, and colleagues from different parties were elected as the group's Officers. Overall the
The Officers are:
- Kate Osamor (Labour MP for Edmonton);
- Ross Thomson (Conservative MP for Aberdeen South); and
- Lord Paddick (Liberal Democrat peer and former Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner).
Sarah with APPG Officers Ross Thomson MP and Kate Osamor MP
The APPG has also partnered with two fantastic charities, Barnardos and Redthread, who are a perfect match for this topic. Barnardos work with young people and parents at early stages, helping avert some of the issues like child poverty which eventually lead to violence. Redthread work with young people in hospitals and trauma centres, often only hours after they are stabbed, to try and prevent the cycle of violence and revenge.
Sarah and APPG Secretariat representatives: Annie Morris and John Poyton from Redthread, Eve Byrne and Nicola Smith from Barnardos
The APPG on Knife Crime will look in detail at the root causes of knife crime - with particular focus on prevention and early intervention – and will look to hear from experts, campaigners and also individuals formerly involved in knife crime. I'll be posting details of future meetings of the group on my website and social media channels.