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Knife Crime

Volume 683: debated on Monday 9 November 2020

We are taking action on every level to cut knife crime. This week sees the instigation of Operation Sceptre—a nationally organised week of intensification against that crime. We are also investing millions of pounds in prevention and early intervention to stop young people being drawn into violence in the first place.

In 2017, my constituent Ryan Passey was killed with a knife inside a nightclub in Stourbridge. Absurdly, the perpetrator was acquitted. I am grateful for the work done by the Government so far on sentencing, but does the Minister agree that we need to be tough not just on sentencing, but on all aspects that have thus far allowed the perpetrators of knife crime to go free?

My hon. Friend raises a terrible case. The family of Mr Passey have our deep condolences. Over the past 12 years, I have met far too many parents of children and young people who have sadly been murdered and killed on our streets and in nightclubs, often by people who they regard as friends. Back in the early part of the previous decade, we thought we had beaten knife crime, but unfortunately it is back. My hon. Friend is quite right that we need to concentrate on every aspect of this—from enforcement through to prevention and, frankly, long-term work with young people that shows them that carrying a knife is dangerous not only to others, but fundamentally to themselves. There is a better way. We all need to stand shoulder to shoulder with my hon. Friend and her constituents to show young people that way in life.