IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

I’ll be campaigning to choose lives not knives

29 November, 2019

• I WRITE with a mixture of grief and outrage at the articles on knife crime that have been published in this paper in the past six months.

But I am hopeful we can thwart this threat by reinvesting in youth services, breaking the grip of gang violence and adopting a public health approach.

Knife crime has risen 16 per cent in the UK since 2018 and two people are killed on London’s streets each week.

This is a shared shame for our city borne by both our Labour mayor’s negligence and by this Tory government’s indifference to the poor.

As a parent, and as a school governor, and once youth mentor, I know first-hand what a difference the right intervention can make.

That’s why I am proud the Liberal Democrats have announced we will more than double spending on youth services in Islington – from £5.1million to £11.3million.

The spending will help provide young people with positive, safe and healthy alternatives to gangs, who are grooming children as young as 10 to act as drug mules.

And we will go further to break the grip of organised crime on our streets by introducing a legal and regulated market for cannabis. This will deliver an estimated £700million in annual tax revenue for community police and youth services.

We will adopt a public health approach to violent crime, as has been successfully deployed in Glasgow. The only way we can defeat this menace is by bringing together police, health professionals, social workers and teachers.

In Islington I’ll be campaigning to choose lives, not knives.

NICK WAKELING
Liberal Democrat Candidate for Islington North

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