Politicians have said authorities, organisations and communities must work together to tackle the scourge of knife crime.

MPs Peter Kyle, Caroline Lucas, Sally-Ann Hart and council leader Bella Sankey agreed that the root causes of knife crime are complex and that more needs to be done to support and educate young people to prevent them from committing offences.

They have supported The Argus’s Cut Knife Crime campaign, which aims to reduce knife crime and the number of people being injured and killed in stabbings.

The campaign has heard how knives shatter families, communities and the dreams of those whose lives were changed forever in a split second.

We are working with police officers, politicians, paramedics and charity workers.

Mr Kyle, MP for Hove, said: “The forces driving knife crime, particularly among young people, are complex. One in six students are currently absent from school, school youth clubs and activities have more than halved and the emotional pressures on young people have increased yet gone unsupported.”

The Argus: Peter Kyle, MP for HovePeter Kyle, MP for Hove (Image: The Argus/Andrew Gardner)

The Shadow Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology said Labour, if they came into power, would take a “community-wide” response to the issue by “rebuilding” community policing, prioritising the safety of women and girls and by creating a new offence so that adults who coerce a child into crime will go to prison.

“We’ll make school more rewarding by reintroducing socially developmental subjects like music, by reintroducing socially developmental subjects like music, performing arts and sport,” he said.

“Primary school kids won’t go hungry thanks to universal breakfast clubs funded by cancelling tax breaks for people who live here but register their wealth elsewhere.

“We’ll tackle the mental health crisis facing young people by ensuring every school has trained mental health staff and every community has a mental health hub.”

Caroline Lucas said the city must come together to stand up against knife crime and that community safety remains at the top of her agenda.

“I've heard from constituents who are understandably concerned about recent knife crime incidents in the city,” she said.

“My thoughts remain with the families of the victims and the young people seriously injured.

“In the first instance, I would encourage anyone who has information about attacks to come forward as soon as possible.

“But in the longer term there must be a citywide effort, bringing together the police and community groups to encourage dialogue, enhance community cohesion and ensure residents feel safe.

“Violence like this has no place in our city – we must come together and stand up against it.”

Cllr Sankey, leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, said recent events have been “distressing” and said the council is undertaking work to tackle the devastating crime.  

The Argus: Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council Councillor Bella SankeyLeader of Brighton and Hove City Council Councillor Bella Sankey (Image: The Argus/Andrew Gardner)

She said a new scheme at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton, has already had a “tangible” effect on diverting people away from knives and crime.

The Hospital Youth Work Project offers support to young people who attend hospital having possibly experienced violence, victimhood, or criminal exploitation, and who may have attended A&E more than once.

They can then be referred to additional services that promote a positive lifestyle, such as refuges, housing services and substance misuse services.

“We have already started to put in place some quite innovative and important responses to knife crime, particularly among younger members of our community,” said Cllr Sankey.

This article is part of our Cut Knife Crime campaign.

Our mission is to reduce knife crime and the number of people being injured and killed in stabbings through:

  • Increasing the use of knife amnesty bins.
  • Educating young people about knife crime and making them aware of the effects it has on not just the victim, but those around them
  • Having more bleed control kits in pubs, shops and businesses

“I’ve been speaking to colleagues about the programmes that police and schools have been working on to try and raise awareness and educate young people that carrying a knife doesn’t make you more safe - it makes you less safe.

“There’s a whole range of work we need to do in terms of prevention, education and diversion - but we are really keen and already speaking to partners to see what more we can do.”

Ms Hart, MP for Hastings and Rye, said supporting families to create “secure and nurturing environments” is crucial to tackle knife crime.

The Argus: Sally-Ann Hart, MP for HastingsSally-Ann Hart, MP for Hastings (Image: Sally-Ann Hart)

“Knife crime is invidious and complex, invariably caused by adults’ behaviour and attitudes towards each other and towards children,” she said.

“Evidence is clear that stronger families are necessary to increase social mobility, deliver social justice and cut crime.

The Argus:

“We have three Family Hubs in Hastings and I would like to see these rolled out across the country, and long term funding provided.

“These hubs provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for support and advice to parents, carers, children and young people making it easier for them to access the support they need.”

She also said targeted funding for better youth, mental health and social care and law enforcement services is “vital”, as well as collaboration between schools, charities and faith groups.

“It is a sad fact that drugs, drug dealing and social media have been cited as key drivers of knife crime and robust enforcement of legal measures, such as Knife Crime Prevention Orders which can limit suspects use of social media must be a priority,” she said.

If you can host a bleed control pack in your business or support our campaign in any way contact campaigns@theargus.co.uk.