JUST because Brexit has become the ultimate Parliamentary ‘blame game’ does not excuse politicians for appearing to scapegoat police officers, NHS staff and teachers for the epidemic in knife crime.
Instead of Ministers making veiled threats against these professionals if they don’t come forward and report any suspicions, they should be making sure that such concerns are taken seriously when first raised.
And while the increased prevalence of stabbings and gang violence is evidence of a further breakdown in society, families are also integral to preventing further bloodshed on the streets. The challenge, therefore, is for the Government – and all those experts who attended the Downing Street ‘summit’ on knife crime – to find a way to build a better dialogue with those serving on the front line. On too many occasions, lives could have been saved if there had been earlier intervention by the authorities.
Yet, while this will, inevitably, call into question the wisdom of Theresa May’s decision to impose such stringent cuts on the police, it does make sense, as a short-term measure, for police in West and South Yorkshire, as well as other metropolitan areas, to utilise enhanced ‘stop and search’ powers. Reducing the number of lethal weapons being carried on Britain’s streets is the top priority – and people should have nothing to fear from such an exercise if a proper record is kept of every ‘search’ and the resulting evidence is used to inform future policy decisions.