A poster used in a week-long awareness campaign in 2018 by the West Yorkshire Police
The Yorkshire Party has called for greater support for police officers in dealing with knife crime and action on the underlying causes of the problem that has claimed more teenage lives.
Knife crime in South Yorkshire has almost doubled in the past nine years – one of the highest increases outside London, according to the BBC.
South Yorkshire Police recorded almost a thousand offences in the year ending September 2018. In Sheffield there were eight fatal stabbings in 2018.
West Yorkshire is among the regions where knife crime is also rising at its fastest, says Sky News. In Kent and West Yorkshire, the rate had doubled in the past eight years; by contrast London had seen an 11% rise, reported Sky’s data journalist, Carmen Aguilar Garcia.
Mick Bower: Knife crime snuffs out young lives and devastates families
Mick Bower, the Party’s spokesperson on social affairs, said: “The statistics don’t convey the full horror of the situation. Knife crime snuffs out young lives and devastates families.
“We must support the police by giving them the powers they need – but we also have to deal with the underlying causes.
“The Yorkshire Party has always seen community policing as the way forward. We want police officers to be a recognisable part of communities; people with whom you feel comfortable sharing information and concerns – not a force who swoop in when the damage is already done.
“Poverty, domestic abuse and lack of meaningful opportunities are factors that make the gang lifestyle attractive.
“For some young men- carrying a knife is seen as a normal thing. It’s up to all of us to let them know this is not acceptable. Education is vital – in the home as well as in the classroom.”