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Express & Star comment: All law and order fallen by wayside

By Star Comment | Opinions | Published:

This newspaper has long argued that while Brexit dominates all aspects of Government, key areas of domestic policy have been left behind.

Sajid Javid

Now, after more than two years of almost incessant arguing over how to implement the public's vote to leave the EU, our politicians are finally starting to wake up to the fact that all is not well on Britain's streets.

The failings in Government policy are nowhere more evident than in law and order, which has, to put it bluntly, fallen by the wayside against a background of cuts to police, the probation service and our courts.

Tragically, it has taken 35 people getting stabbed to death this year for Ministers to sit up and take notice of the country's knife crime epidemic.

Until very recently a distracted Theresa May has rarely entered this particular debate.

Indeed, after two more senseless killings over the course of last weekend, the Prime Minister's sole intervention was to dispute any correlation between the rise in knife related violence and the fall in police numbers.

She has since changed her tone, but only after being contradicted by Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick.

Even so, Downing Street's insistence that the Government will "make sure the police have the powers and resources that they need” will be taken with a pinch of salt until actions start to match words.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid's meeting with police chiefs yesterday is a step in the right direction.

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It is abundantly clear that the knife crime epidemic is not just an issue with policing.

It is a society wide problem that needs us all to get involved in finding the solution.

The wider criminal justice system must play a part, ensuring that appropriate sentences are handed out for violent crimes.

The Government needs to listen to schools, local councils, mental health organisations, charities and other organisations which understand the issues surrounding knife crime.

It is time for the Prime Minister to face up to the fact that our police forces desperately need extra resources. The new serious violence strategy must be delivered as a matter of urgency.

Every day that the Government procrastinates, the bodies continue to pile up.

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