'Young people are dying on our streets': David Lammy condemns lack of action over tacking knife crime

26 July 2023, 13:42 | Updated: 26 July 2023, 17:19

David Lammy's powerful monologue on knife crime

By Alice Bourne

In a passionate monologue David Lammy asked listeners if we as a society have "stopped caring" about knife crime because "so often, the complexion of these people is not white?"

After David Lammy calculated a staggering 100 deaths to have taken place as a result of knife crime this year, he told listeners: “One, we’re going to need to take this seriously and two, we’re going to need to get to the source of the problem, and I’ve always believed the source that’s driving violence is drugs and county lines.

He elaborated: “Not all violence is as a result of that, but it breeds the culture of violence.”

David then asked: “So what is the Home Secretary doing about organised crime, because very few of these young people have the means to bring cocaine from Colombia."

“That’s organised by men in suits - what’s she doing about that, is she investing in border control? Is she investing in the intelligence that the National Crime Agency needs? Is she arresting and ensuring we’re arresting the big drug lords driving county lines across our country?”

Read More: Sexual abuse lawsuits against Michael Jackson could be revived by California appeals court

He stated: “I’ve heard nothing from her on that issue.”

Caller believes traumatised youths are targeted for drugs

Looking to the past David said: “The Serious Violence Taskforce was set up- it lasted about two years. Priti Patel, former Home Secretary, got rid of it.

“They knew you had to support parents, they knew that most of these crimes are in about 30 of the most deprived areas in the country and if you just focused all of your resources on those 30 areas, you could make a big difference to these numbers.”

Emphasising his anger at the lack of action to resolve knife crime, David continued: “Young people are dying on our streets, but we’re not even having the conversation anymore. These names barely make the news. It would appear that the Home Secretary does not consider this a national priority.

“Suella Braverman mentions this in her quote she mentions that too often it’s young black males… have we stopped caring because so often the complexion of these people is not white?”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We continue to do everything in our power to tackle knife crime. Since 2019, we have removed over 100,000 knives and offensive weapons from our streets through stop and search, surrender initiatives and other targeted police action.

“We are also providing police forces with additional resources to tackle crime and, since 2019, have invested £170 million into the development of Violence Reduction Units in the 20 areas worst affected by serious violence. This is alongside a further £170 million to fund additional, targeted police patrols in the streets and neighbourhoods most affected.”

Read More: 'We're in a country where class matters': David Lammy points to the merits of affirmative action