Nigel Evans, MP for the Ribble Valley, today took the opportunity at Business Questions to call for more action to be taken to combat knife crime across the UK. Mr Evans’ intervention comes after a violent incident between two teenagers in Clitheroe yesterday evening, which is currently being investigated by Lancashire Constabulary.
Speaking during Business Questions in the Chamber, Mr Evans said:
“I know there’s due to be a debate on knife crime in Westminster Hall next week, but I wonder if the Leader of the House could arrange for a Home Office Minister to make a statement about the repellent rise in knife crime. Clitheroe in my constituency in the Ribble Valley must be one of the most idyllic, wonderful towns to live in, and yet last night two youths, one 16 year old with a knife stabbed another that he knew.
“The police informed me and we pray that it is not life threatening, but nonetheless, if this can happen in a place like Clitheroe then that really does say we need to do more. Whether it’s through the schools, whether it’s through parents, whether it’s through greater police numbers, whether it’s stop and search, whatever it is, all I know is that if we do nothing it is going to rise even further.”
Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom responded:
“My Honourable friend raises such an important issue that is often raised at business questions and at other times. We have had several debates in this chamber recently in the last few weeks and it is quite right that we do. My Honourable friend will be aware that the Chancellor announced at Spring Statement an extra £100 million for a very short-term intervention to ensure that more police officers through overtime measures could be made available to tackle this. We have a Serious Violence Strategy and a Serious Violence Task Force.
“We are bringing in the Offensive Weapons Bill to make it harder to get knives and within t will have a knife crime prevention order which is absolutely vital. We are extending stop and search powers and we are also having a landmark review into drug misuse. So the government it taking action at every level, but ultimately we also have to look at prevention and perhaps the most important part is the government’s commitment to trying to ensure that younger people are not tempted into a life of knife crime.”