Working together to tackle knife crime

Councillor Jayne Francis, cabinet member for education, skills and culture, talked at the city's knife crime summit.

Birmingham, like other cities, is currently experiencing an unprecedented crisis. Knife crime is on the increase and last month two young people tragically died.

This worrying trend is set against a backdrop of savage cuts by central government – cuts which have decimated police numbers, youth services, early interventions and cuts to school budgets. These cuts impact on young people disproportionately – those young people who already face considerable disadvantage are the very ones who are most likely to be exposed to violence, crime and exploitation.

It’s clear that we can only tackle knife crime if we work together – by that I include the police, local government, schools, colleges, court, parents, carers and families.

Schools in particular have a key role. We know in Birmingham that almost all schools have been affected by cuts to education budgets. We know that some schools in Birmingham are closing early on Fridays because they can’t afford to pay staff – but we cannot sit back and allow our children and young people to be deprived of a full-time education.

Despite the challenging circumstances schools are operating under, it is encouraging to see the innovative approaches many in Birmingham are taking and the results they are having, such as Washwood Heath and Broadway.

I’d like to thank the Police and Crime Commissioner for putting on this timely summit and inviting me to be part of it. I know how committed everyone is to tackling knife crime and I’m sure this will be the first of many opportunities for us all to get together to share ideas and work together. 

This blog was posted on 28 March 2019


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