Luton’s determination to tackle knife crime is 'undiminished' says council after community event

Over 100 people came together to hear the council’s updates about addressing the issue
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People in Luton gave the council their feedback on its plans to tackle knife crime in the town.

Over 100 people went to the Community Safety Partnership feedback session to get updates on the progress made so far. Chaired by Sandeesha Alahapperuma and Yasmine Pintea from Luton’s Youth Council, it was a chance for residents, councillors, NHS staff, police and community organisers to give their opinions on how best to address the issue.

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The council said: “This was an opportunity for the council and the police to update the community on the work that has been undertaken as a result of listening to the concerns of the community and the views of children and young people from the large scale consultation. This ranged from the practical innovative ideas such as the consequences card with access to help for children and young people to an overview of the larger scale projects to create a foundation of change in Luton.”

Police tape. (Picture: Peter Byrne via PA)Police tape. (Picture: Peter Byrne via PA)
Police tape. (Picture: Peter Byrne via PA)

The first response meeting was held following the death of 16-year-old Ashraf Habimana in September. The schoolboy was found with stab wounds on Nunnery Lane. This week, attendees were told about the progress that has been made, upcoming events linked to available funding pots, and the community intervention projects.

Councillor Maria Lovell, portfolio holder for Community Safety, commented: “Knife crime is destroying lives and families. To ignore its impact or feel we are powerless is not an option. The people of Luton want their children and grandchildren to grow up without fear and worry. It is our determination to provide them with that option.

"Our community safety partnership is currently preparing our plan and commitments for the next four years to keep our community safe, and the work to protect our young people and safeguard them from criminal exploitation is amongst our very top priorities. We will continue to keep everyone informed of its progress.

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She added: “Events such as this, when we can hear people’s views and concerns and learn about steps being taken to tackle the problem are vital. Through building understanding, support and education we will all be better equipped to serve the next generation.“