Opinion: Long-term plan to tackle violent crime

PUBLISHED: 08:30 30 June 2019

City & East London Assembly member Unmesh Desai is working towards a long-term solution to tackle violent crime.

City & East London Assembly member Unmesh Desai is working towards a long-term solution to tackle violent crime.


There have sadly been three violent murders in Newham over the past month.

Whilst a lot of work is going into trying to reduce the levels of violent crime in the capital, it would be wrong to deny that we still have a serious problem. In the aftermath of these attacks, the Metropolitan Police have been using all the enforcement powers at their disposal to prevent further tragic incidents from taking place.

I know that residents are rightly concerned with the current situation and I have written to the borough commander for an update on the work being undertaken by local police teams to keep our community safe, particularly as we go into summer.

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It is always important to remember that the police are on the front line in the fight against crime and we must continue to fully support them in the work they do. However, police morale, as a result of swingeing government cuts and a significant increase in workload, has plummeted to an extremely concerning extent.

I explore the implications of this further in my latest report, Fighting Austerity: Care for our cops, protect our city, which outlines my campaign for better resourcing of the Met. The report is available on my GLA webpage.

In the long term, we must continue to work towards implementing a holistic public health approach to tackling violent crime. Bringing together the various agencies who can impact on the root causes of violent crime has proven successful elsewhere, and we must remain resolute in working towards achieving this goal. I have met, and going forward, will continue to work with the mayor's Violence Reduction Unit, which oversees this work.

At a recent London Assembly meeting, I seconded a motion calling for a public inquiry into the unlawful killing of Blair Peach, an east London teacher and anti-racist protester, in 1979. I was at the protest the day Blair was killed, and I will fight relentlessly for truth and against the injustice of his death.

Finally, I recently attended the GMB Conference and discussed with members and delegates the vital work of trade unions in addressing the rise of the far right.

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