Debates between Baroness Sater and Baroness Williams of Trafford during the 2019 Parliament

Tue 21st Jul 2020

Knife Crime

Debate between Baroness Sater and Baroness Williams of Trafford
Tuesday 21st July 2020

(3 years, 11 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford
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I very well remember the moment to which the noble Lord refers, which must have left lasting scars for all those involved. Last week, we brought forward in a statutory instrument a compensation scheme for certain offensive weapons. I think that the noble Lord’s wife is behind him, making sure that he says the right thing—I have now lost my track. We have had several knife amnesties over the years. Children need to feel supported in binning the knife and in not carrying knives, as opposed to feeling penalised. I think that that is what the noble Lord’s question stems from.

Baroness Sater Portrait Baroness Sater (Con) [V]
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The recent knife crime figures released by the Office for National Statistics are extremely worrying. We know that hundreds of dedicated and amazing individuals and hard-working organisations deliver excellent initiatives and projects to try to prevent and reduce knife crime across the country. Yet, as is obvious from the figures, with the increased demand on them, these organisations are not able to make the impact we all need. Should we not identify the most successful ones and invest more money in scaling them up? Is it time to review the amount of money allocated and where the money is spent in trying to combat this dreadful knife crime?

Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford
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I totally agree with my noble friend that we should indeed learn from successes. There are pockets of very good practice all over the country. We do not always have the magic formula to know what the most successful intervention will be. However, our analysis, which was set out in the Serious Violence Strategy, makes it clear that there is a very complex interplay of different factors driving serious violence. It is therefore especially difficult to isolate specifics, but we are definitely sure that prevention and early intervention are key. They are the things that we are investing in, particularly in youth services, and our recruitment of additional police officers will of course help to that end.