OPINION: City and East AM Unmesh Desai believes fighting violent crime must come from within community

PUBLISHED: 08:00 03 May 2017


Knife and gun related crime has sadly gone up in London over the last year, the former by 24 per cent and the latter by 42pc.

Over the past few weeks there have been two fatalities from such crimes in Newham. We should never forget that behind these statistics are families and communities who have lost loved ones. There are no easy answers but we all have a role to play in tackling the rise in violent crime within our communities.

It is important that young people are aware of the devastating impact carrying a weapon can have and I applaud all the efforts made by groups and organisations who are trying to raise awareness within communities across London. It is also vital the police are properly funded and supported in their role within our community to tackle knife and gun crime and we must do all that we can to help them in their investigations.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has set out plans to ensure all schools in London have a dedicated police officer to help educate children, teachers and parents about the harm that carrying knives can cause. The mayor is also due to publish his knife crime strategy later this year, which will draw on the evidence and suggestions made during the Knife Crime Summit held last year, to lay foundations for a coherent, strategic approach to tackling the devastating effects knife and other violent crimes have on our families and communities.

This weekend I joined Canning Town residents and councillors in Cody Dock to celebrate St George’s Day. Sitting on a tributary of the Thames, the dock is an amazing oasis of calm; a green asset in what used to be an industrial zone which had been allowed to lapse into decline. The area is now a calm and beautiful community space. Boats, bridges, social heritage, arts - it’s all there! I thoroughly recommend a visit.

April has also meant celebrating Baisakhi, the Sikh New Year and I visited Neville Road Gurudwara in Forest Gate to join worshippers, councillors and representatives from the police in an enjoyable and colourful ceremony. More from Unmesh

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