The increasingly alarming spate of stabbings in London has rightfully been dominating national attention but the extent of the country’s knife crime problem sadly extends far beyond the capital city.
Recent research has shown there has been a 45 per cent increase in knife crime in Yorkshire and the Humber in the past decade, with South Yorkshire recording the largest rise of 79 per cent.
The situation has become so bad that Labour MP Gill Furniss has said Somali mothers in Sheffield have called on South Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner to increase the use of stop-and-search powers.
Conservative MP Philip Davies, who represents Shipley, has accused Prime Minister Theresa May of making a “catastrophic” mistake with the reforms she made as Home Secretary that restricted the use of stop-and-search powers.
It is difficult to disagree with the conclusion that a dramatic rethink is urgently needed. More than 50 people have been killed in London since the start of the year, more than 30 of whom were fatally knifed. Nationally, fatal stabbings in England and Wales are at their highest levels since 2010/11 and it is tragically often young people who are the victims.
London mayor Sadiq Khan is right to point out that cutting hundreds of millions from police budgets has not helped. But it is also vital that the officers who remain have the powers at their disposal that give them a better chance to seize weapons and prevent fatal attacks from taking place.
Too many lives are being lost for the current situation to continue.