Cutting knife crime to be ‘moral mission’ for Labour if it wins election

Politics

Reducing knife crime will be a “moral mission” for Labour if it wins the general election on 4 July, Sir Keir Starmer will say on Tuesday.

The party leader will outline his plan to halve knife crime over the next 10 years, including creating a new cross-government “coalition” to work on solutions – including families of victims and survivors of knife crime, along with tech companies and relevant organisations.

Sir Keir will also promise to chair an annual knife crime summit to “track progress” on the target, and appeal to all parties to work together on the issue.

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“Knife crime is an issue above and beyond party politics,” he will say. “For the parents grieving sons and daughters who never came home, action to end this scourge cannot wait.

“Far too often we hear the same stories from grieving families who have been subject to these brutal murders carried out by children.

“It is our duty as political leaders of all stripes to work together to end knife crime and keep our young people safe.”

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Figures from Labour showed knife-related offences had risen by 81% since 2015 across England and Wales.

The party’s pledges for after the election include increasing the penalties for carrying a knife – including custody in the most serious cases, as well as extending the list of banned knives.

They will also introduce a new “Young Futures” programme to support young people in local communities.

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“Cutting knife crime will be a moral mission for the next Labour government,” Sir Keir will add.

“Our new cross-government coalition will put knife crime victims and their families at the heart of government, working with us to take the strongest action in a generation to end this tragic crime.”

But Conservative policing minister Chris Philp attacked the Labour leader’s record from his time in charge of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), claiming convictions for weapon possession fell on his watch.

“In contrast, the Conservatives have cut crime by 54% since 2010 and recruited 20,000 more police since 2019,” he added.

“We are going even further with our plan to recruit 8,000 more police officers.

“The choice at the election is clear: cracking down on crime with Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives, or back to square one with Keir Starmer and the same old Labour who consistently fail to tackle crime.”

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The Tories will be reiterating their plans to lower migration on Tuesday, laying claim to being the only party to support the Rwanda plan for deporting asylum seekers arriving in the UK by small boat.

They will also pledge to reduce legal migration, with an annual cap on the number of visas that are granted for work or for people to join their family.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Migration is too high and the Conservatives have a clear plan to get it down.

“Labour would rip up our plan on day one by scrapping the Rwanda scheme, despite countries across Europe looking to it themselves to deal with their own migration pressures.”

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