Yvette Cooper, Labour's Shadow Home Secretary commenting on the findings of Brooke Kinsella's report on tackling knife crime, said:
“Brooke Kinsella is doing invaluable work to tackle knife crime and I warmly welcome the continuation of her campaigning and this report.
“But the Government is being completely disingenuous. The cuts are 100 times bigger than the extra help they are offering. They promise under £4 million extra for London, Greater Manchester and West Midlands police at the same time as they are cutting £480 million from their budgets. And extra support for prevention will be swamped by the 28 per cent cuts to councils, youth services and police support in schools.
“And there is still complete confusion about their sentencing policy. The Home Secretary today repeated the old Tory manifesto pledge that prison sentences will be handed out to anyone caught in possession of a knife, seemingly unaware that the Justice Secretary has already added this to the list of Tory broken promises with his plan for 'community-based' sentencing.”
“Tackling knife crime requires tough laws and the ability to enforce them alongside serious prevention measures. This is what the public want, what victim’s families want and will only be made more difficult by the drastic cuts to police and crime prevention budgets.
“If the Tory-led Government is serious about tackling knife crime they should stop the cuts to police on the beat and help protect the work by schools and youth services across the country.”