Three days of community meetings to have your say on crime scourge in Luton

Three days of community meetings are to be held in Luton next week as local leaders try to get to grips with the crime scourge in the town.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 10:03 am
Updated Thursday, 8th July 2021, 1:14 pm
The first meeting will be held at Futures House; (inset) Beds PCC Festus Akinbusoye
The first meeting will be held at Futures House; (inset) Beds PCC Festus Akinbusoye

Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Festus Akinbusoye and Luton Borough Council leader, Cllr Hazel Simmons, will host all three meetings.

The sessions are a chance for the public to talk about any aspect of crime in Luton, share their views about why crimes happen and what actions the authorities should take.

The PCC told Luton Today the meetings were planned before the fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Humza Hussain near Challney High School for Boys on June 8.

Mr Akinbusoye said: “The main aim of this is to listen to residents. One thing I got a sense of during the election was that a lot of people had a lot of things to say about community safety generally.

“So now, they will be given the opportunity to discuss this with me and with the local authorities as well, because it’s got to be a joint effort.

“There’s no agenda or set speakers. Effectively, we are asking, ‘What do you think are the causes of the violent crimes in our communities? What do we not know about?’

“I’ve got to emphasise these meetings won’t just be about knife crime.

“There are other forms of violent crimes that we face in our communities. Knife crime is the most well-known, but we’ve got a lot of sexual violence for example.

“What keeps me up at night is the thought that there is a young person in Luton or elsewhere in the county who, right now, is being groomed either sexually or criminally. That this young person is on our radar and we do not notice them.

“There should not be any invisible victims of crime in Bedfordshire.”

Visit www.bedfordshire.pcc.police.uk/events to register to attend any of these three events:

> The Luton North Community discussion takes place at Futures House, Monday, July 12, from 6pm to 8pm.

> The Luton Young Person Community discussion will be held online on Tuesday, July 13, from 11.30am to 12.30pm.

> The Luton South Community discussion takes place at Venue 360, Wednesday, July 14, from 6pm to 8pm.

We launched our anti-knife crime initiative Bin Your Blade three weeks ago following the fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Humza Hussain in Luton which shocked the community.

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.