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View from the House: Tackling violent crime is my priority

PUBLISHED: 08:00 19 January 2019

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A couple of months ago I wrote in the Barking and Dagenham Post about the need to combat rising knife crime with a tough approach that tackles the causes of violent crime and better supports police.

Sadly, we have just had two further knife attacks in Barking on the same evening. Two arrests have been made. Understandably constituents have expressed their sadness and frustration with the increase in violent attacks.

That’s why this year I will make tackling rising crime in Barking a top priority. Our local police need to be given the funding reassurances to maintain police stations across the borough. Policing needs serious investment from national government so the number of officers does not continue to fall, as it has done for the previous eight years. Barking needs a stronger police presence and not further cuts if we are to reverse the spike.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has been fighting hard for more funding for the Met Police. Like me, he understands the need to tackle violent crime at its root and prevent people from falling into violent crime in the first place. He has backed a number of excellent organisations across London which work with young people to move them away from gangs and violent crime. Young people in Barking need support groups such as these to offer fresh opportunities and a real alternative from gangs. In the coming months, I will be pursuing this issue so we can support the police, local services, and youth groups who are all working hard to make Barking and Dagenham a safer community for everyone.

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