Labour makes cutting knife crime a 'moral mission' as Starmer proposes new child criminal exploitation offence

24 June 2024, 22:35

Labour has made cutting knife crime a 'moral mission' should the party come to power
Labour has made cutting knife crime a 'moral mission' should the party come to power. Picture: Alamy

By Danielle de Wolfe

Sir Keir Starmer has vowed that Labour will make it their “moral mission” to tackle knife crime should the party come to power at the next General Election.

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Starmer has pledged to take the "strongest action in a generation" should the party win a majority on July 4, with a reduction in knife crime forming a central part of the next Labour government's plans.

The proposal will see the party support a new cross-government coalition, combining the expertise of Government Ministers, tech companies and the families of knife crime victims.

It will also see Labour create a new offence known as 'child criminal exploitation' as part of the party's Serious & Organised Crime Strategy.

Starmer has labelled it the "duty" of political leaders to tackle the crisis, with the Labour leader calling it "an issue above and beyond party politics".

The proposals will also see Starmer chair an "annual knife crime summit" in a bid to reduce violence.

It comes just a week after two 12-year-old boys were found guilty of murdering a man in an unprovoked machete attack, with the pair dubbed 'Britain's youngest knife murderers'.

Starmer has pledged to take the "strongest action in a generation" should the party win a majority on July 4, with a reduction in knife crime forming a central part of the next Labour government&squot;s plans.
Starmer has pledged to take the "strongest action in a generation" should the party win a majority on July 4, with a reduction in knife crime forming a central part of the next Labour government's plans. Picture: Alamy

Labour's mission is to halve knife crime incidents within a decade, with the summit a means of tracking progress according to the party, with ONS statistics showing offending has gone up 81 percent since 2015.

"It is our duty as political leaders of all stripes to work together to end knife crime and keep our young people safe," said Starmer.

The party has vowed to introduce a programme that will identify the young people most at risk and provide a package of support.

They will also extend the list of banned knives, in addition to undertaking a rapid review of online knife sales.

The plan will see Labour pledge to "guarantee sanctions and serious interventions for young people found carrying knives" and will support the use of custody in the most serious cases of knife possession.

Read more: Tories tell police to ramp up ‘stop and search’ as knife crime tsar warns weapons are being sold to teens on TikTok

Read more: 'Britain's youngest knife murderers': Two boys, 12, guilty of killing stranger with a machete in unprovoked attack

“Knife crime is an issue above and beyond party politics," says Starmer.

“For the parents grieving sons and daughters who never came home, action to end this scourge cannot wait. Far too often we hear the same stories from grieving families who have been subject to these brutal murders carried out by children."

It comes as the Tories urged forces across the country to increase their use of ‘stop and search’, with the policing minister Chris Philp insisting it is a ‘vital tool’ and not discriminatory.
It comes as the Tories urged forces across the country to increase their use of ‘stop and search’, with the policing minister Chris Philp insisting it is a ‘vital tool’ and not discriminatory. Picture: Alamy

“It is our duty as political leaders of all stripes to work together to end knife crime and keep our young people safe.

“Cutting knife crime will be a moral mission for the next Labour government.

He adds: "Our new cross-government coalition will put knife crime victims and their families at the heart of government, working with us to take the strongest action in a generation to end this tragic crime.”

It comes as the Tories urged forces across the country to increase their use of ‘stop and search’, with the policing minister Chris Philp insisting it is a ‘vital tool’ and not discriminatory.

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