Vow to tackle knife crime in Wolverhampton after 16-year-old dies in latest stabbing

Leaders across Wolverhampton have vowed to do "everything" they can to help tackle the scourge of knife crime after another teenager was fatally stabbed.

Tributes have been paid after a 16-year-old was fatally stabbed
Tributes have been paid after a 16-year-old was fatally stabbed

Council chiefs said the rising levels of youth crime – which have seen two youngsters killed – was "unacceptable" and can't be allowed to continue in the city.

It has led to them vowing to explore other ways of helping youngsters in the city as they pledged to do everything to keep streets safer amid the spike in crime.

The vow comes after a 16-year-old boy, named locally as Ronan, was found with fatal stab wounds in the city at around 8.30pm on Wednesday.

Four people have since been arrested on suspicion of murder with two, a 16-year-old boy and a 20-year-old man, remaining in police custody for questioning.

Another youngster – 15-year-old Zane Smart – was fatally stabbed in the Pendeford area in May with a 16-year-old being charged with his murder.

Councillor Stephen Simkins, deputy leader of the authority, said the surge in crime was "unacceptable" with young lives lost and families being "destroyed".

Councillor Simkins, who said youth intervention teams had already been working flat-out, said: "Our intervention teams do a lot of work and if we had more resources (to apply to) youth services, we could see an impact in the right direction.

"I'm convinced the more resources we've got the more intervention we can do. We do a lot of work already, especially with the neighbourhood police teams, but they're stretched to the limit with general crime.

"I think we need to have a look at what more we can do, if anything, and we need to talk to youths and their parents – because those families there are going to be devastated and will never get over it.

"Perhaps we can work with the prison service, or the probation team, to see if we can mitigate this. It's unacceptable – young lives have been lost and families have been destroyed across the city."

Zane Smart was 15 when he died in May

Councillor Simkins said he would call for the authority to look again internally to see if they can do anything more – and reiterated his commitment to the council working with others to tackle the issue.

"We want to stop anyone else getting into this tragic situation and stop our children feeling the need to carry a knife," he said. "This authority will do everything we can to prevent this from happening and we will work with our youths to protect them."

Meanwhile Pat McFadden, MP for Wolverhampton South East, said: "This is horrific crime, and the whole community is shocked that something like this could happen in the local area. If anyone has any information I would encourage them to contact the police.

"Terrible crimes like this add to the fear in the local community. It is really important the police, the local authority and every other agency work together so the community is safe and people feel free to go about their daily lives."

Jackie Reading, CEO at The Way, added: "We were extremely saddened to hear that two young people have lost their lives in such tragic circumstances. Our thoughts are very much with their families at this horrendous time.

“There is no one simple answer to address the very real and complex challenges facing young people in our community. It is important that organisations and agencies take a collaborative approach - working together to support young people and providing them with safe places to go with support from trusted adults.”

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