Bin Your Blade: 'Police are protecting us on a shoestring' says Luton South MP Rachel Hopkins
'It’s not just policing that needs funding. Youth services act as a lifeline for young people in vulnerable social situations'
Luton’s MPs have pledged their support to the Luton News and Dunstable Gazette’s Bin Your Blade campaign.
We launched our anti-knife crime initiative two weeks ago following the fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Humza Hussain in Luton which shocked the community.
Luton South MP Rachel Hopkins has since been pictured with Luton North MP Sarah Owen holding our front page aloft outside Parliament.
In a statement of support, Ms Hopkins said: “Too many young lives have been tragically lost to senseless acts of violence.
“Young people should be able to feel safe and secure in our community. We need to see comprehensive action from Government to end knife crime, and that’s why I’m supporting Luton News’ Bin Your Blade campaign.
“Bedfordshire Police does everything in its power to protect our community, but they should not have to do it on a shoestring. Community policing is vital to creating a safe environment, as it builds local relationships, gathers information, and makes early interventions. Over the past decade, underfunding has reduced the visibility of policing, leading people to feel less safe.
“I have criticised the Government’s police funding formula in Parliament. The formula funds Bedfordshire as a rural county and fails to recognise the complex crime found in towns like Luton.
“Bedfordshire Police urgently need increased funding for community policing to keep people feeling safe and to build community cohesion. The Government must review the formula to fund police services based on the demand they face.
“It’s not just policing that needs funding. Youth services act as a lifeline for young people in vulnerable social situations, including supporting their mental health, providing positive role models, and inspiring them to be ambitious for their future.
“The Conservative Government has shamefully forced youth services to the brink of collapse, as 73% of funding for youth services has been cut since 2010.
“Services for young people should not be treated as an afterthought and need to be at the heart of our post-pandemic recovery. Luton Council needs increased funding for local youth services to prevent long-term negative effects caused by the pandemic.
“I will keep pressing for the funding and resources Luton needs to tackle knife crime and offer all our young people a bright future.”
By publicising the awful consequences of carrying a knife we want to make a difference and encourage those who may be vulnerable to resist exploitation and to avoid making dangerous choices. If you’ve been affected by knife crime please share your story with us, or if you’re trying to make a difference in the community get in touch. Email [email protected] or call 07803 506099.