At what point do we start properly acting on what is being brandished in the media as a knife crime epidemic?
An epidemic is “a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time”
Ebola was an epidemic. The Ebola outbreak received mutual aid from across the world, the Army were sent with little to no notice to Sierra Leonne for an unknown amount of time in a hope to help. It took the Government virtually no time at all to hold a meeting to agree that immediate action needed to be taken. They saw people die, children die, thousands suffering, for months on end.
Knife crime is an epidemic. The media and some politicians have got as far as stating that it is such a thing, but they’re yet to actually deal with it. Why?
“There will be more Police in the City to tackle the rise in knife crime.” No, there will be the same amount of Police. Those boosted numbers are officers on overtime, on a cancelled rest day, on a day that should have been annual leave.
Some Police Forces are having extra funding to help. But it really is a sticking plaster. It’s extra funding to pay for the overtime, it’s not extra funding to replace the 20,000+ Police Officers that have been lost over the last few years.
And it’s not just London either. This is a national problem. In Birmingham, Manchester, the biggest cities and the smallest towns. People carry knives on a daily basis. Children carry knives. Children are killing each other. The number of people under the age of 16 I see in Custody on a weekly basis for possession of a knife/blade/machete/weapon is terrifying.
Surely, surely this is an epidemic. And surely it deserves the same action from the Government as other epidemics do that are thousands of miles away.
Before I transferred to my current Force I worked on response in a much more rural area. I was on a shift that paraded 1 Sergeant and 7 PCs (on a very, very good day) We covered an enormous area, with backup 20 minutes away on a blue light run.
This week just gone my old shift dealt with a murder. The response car that was sent to the murder was single crewed. The response car sent to the murder was the only response car in the entire patch. To a murder. There really are no words.
Anybody who tells me that there isn’t a correlation between a lack of Police and a rise in crime are living in cloud cuckoo land.
We deal with it every day. In every role. The pressures are immense. There aren’t enough of us to pretend to do the job we love well enough. We do our best, but that isn’t the same as doing well enough. We let people down every single day.
So when will this epidemic be dealt with as seriously as it is? When will we get support?
I welcome any Politician to come and work with me for a day and I dare them to tell us that we aren’t struggling.