South Yorkshire Police invited to meeting with Home Secretary amid claims of national knife crime emergency

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South Yorkshire Police attended a meeting with Home Secretary Sajid Javid today as concerns of a national knife crime emergency grow.

Knife crime is on the rise nationally and there were eight fatal stabbings in South Yorkshire last year, although locally knife crime is down by 12 per cent.

Sam Baker was just 15 when he was stabbed to death in Sheffield last year

Sam Baker was just 15 when he was stabbed to death in Sheffield last year

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Two fatal stabbings of teenagers last weekend in Greater Manchester and London have sparked a heated debate over police officer numbers in England and Wales, which have dropped by more than 20,000 since 2010.

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Senior officers from seven of the forces most affected by violent crime - the Metropolitan Police, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, West Midlands, South Wales, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire -  attended today’s meeting.

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Prime Minister Theresa May has ordered an urgent set of ministerial meetings to address action against knife crime, amid controversy over her claim that there was no direct link with cuts in police numbers.

Britain's most senior police officer, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, clashed with the Prime Minister on the issue, insisting there is ‘obviously’ a connection between reductions in officer numbers and street violence.

Knife crime is on the rise nationally and there were eight fatal stabbings in South Yorkshire last year, although there has been a recent 12 per cent decrease locally.

Two fatal stabbings of teenagers last weekend in Greater Manchester and London have sparked a heated debate over police officer numbers in England and Wales, which have dropped by more than 20,000 since 2010.

Senior officers from seven of the forces most affected by violent crime - the Metropolitan Police, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, West Midlands, South Wales, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire - attended yesterday’s meeting.

Prime Minister Theresa May has ordered an urgent set of ministerial meetings to address action against knife crime, amid controversy over her claim that there was no direct link with cuts in police numbers.

Britain's most senior police officer, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, clashed with the Prime Minister on the issue, insisting there is ‘obviously’ a connection between reductions in officer numbers and street violence.

Superintendent Una Jennings, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “South Yorkshire Police was represented at the meeting to share good practice and develop a national response.

“South Yorkshire has seen its fair share of tragedy over the last 12 months and in response to that we have worked hard with partners and communities to develop a robust plan based on public health principals and a plan which is evidence based and appearing to have an impact.

“In the 12 months to September 2018 we have seen a decrease in knife enabled crime by 12 per cent. This is the first time in five years that we have seen a decrease in South Yorkshire and we are encouraged by this but know we have so much more to do.”