Theresa May speaks on knife tragedy in Halesowen visit

The stabbing of schoolgirl Christina Edkins was labelled a tragedy on the anniversary of her death, by the Home Secretary.

Theresa May, with, from left, Mark Babington, Inspector Lee Gordon, James Morris MP, and Inspector Tim Draper
Theresa May, with, from left, Mark Babington, Inspector Lee Gordon, James Morris MP, and Inspector Tim Draper

Theresa May visited Halesowen, where the 16-year-old was a pupil, and spoke with MP James Morris and transport police at the town’s bus station.

The visit occurred on the anniversary purely by coincidence as Mrs May had been planning to visit fellow Tory Mr Morris for some time.

Christina, a pupil at Leasowes School, was stabbed to death on a bus by paranoid schizophrenic Phillip Simelane a year ago yesterday. Mr Morris has been calling for immediate prison sentences to be given to people caught carrying knives. Mrs May did not make any promises yesterday but said the Government had been looking at the issue.

In an interview with Express & Star at Halesowen Police Station, Mrs May said: “We have toughened up on the issue of knives.

“We see, sadly, too many young people losing their lives as a result of knife crime.

“But we have been looking at the presumption that someone should go to prison if there are aspects of knife crime and I think there’s a number of things this tragic incident raises.

“It raises the question of people coming out of prison, the question of reoffending, of interaction with mental health issues and also obviously, earlier on, I was with an inspector looking at the issues around the transport network.

“I was really interested to hear the good work being done here in relation to transport to provide reassurance.

“When we came into government we were absolutely clear that we wanted to see this toughened up and people going to prison in certain circumstances.”

Mrs May also met with members of the Safer Travel Partnership, which involves police going on to buses and working with schools and colleges.