Public meeting to discuss spike in Luton violence

The scene after the stabbing on May 6
The scene after the stabbing on May 6

The Assistant Chief Constable of Beds Police and the leader of Luton Borough Council will host a public meeting tonight to discuss the shocking rise of violence in our town – including two murders of young men within two months.

Assistant Chief Constable Jackie Sebire and Cllr Hazel Simmons will chair the public meeting from 5pm till 7.30pm today (Wednesday) at Futures House in Marsh Farm.

In an exclusive interview with Luton News, Assistant Chief Constable Jackie Sebire said she was disturbed by the public nature of some of the crimes after viewing CCTV footage.

20-year-old Waryam Hussain lost his life on Sunday, May 6, after he was stabbed in Bishopscote Road just one-and-a-half hours after a separate stabbing in Dumfries Street. Mr Hussain’s death follows a string of violence this year.

His family paid tribute to him last week, describing him as a loving son, brother, uncle and nephew. They said: “He was one of the nicest people to be around... He will be missed so much by his family and friends.”

Cllr Simmons last week called for action following the rise in violence across Luton.

She said: “I am sure you are all as horrified as I am about the national epidemic of knife and other violent crime which has gripped the whole country in recent months and also brought tragedy to the streets of Luton.

“As leader of Luton Council, I am determined to understand and deal with the factors that are bringing these incidents to our town.”

Liberal Democrats leader on the council, Cllr David Franks, criticised both the Labour group and the Conservative Government for cuts to services.

Cllr Franks said: “The families of both victims and perpetrators have seen their lives shattered and warm words are not enough. We need more investment in youth services, not less.”

Last week a Home Office report suggested expanding London drugs gangs were engaging in turf wars with local drug dealers in the Home Counties, a trend also seen in Manchester and Liverpool.