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GMP Federation

Knife Crime: Maybe the Police Federation were not “Crying Wolf” after all Prime Minister.

5 March 2019

GMP Federation Chair Stu Berry reacts to Prime Minister Theresa May still failing to recognise the link between police numbers and rising crime – as sadly children are being murdered with knives on our streets.

Stu says: “It is extremely convenient for Theresa May to state – as she has done today - that there is no correlation between cuts to police numbers and the increase in Knife Crime. As Home Secretary she presided over the most severe cuts to policing in living memory and her comments are indicative of a Prime Minister that is not in touch with reality and frankly an individual that does not possess the moral fibre to admit when she is wrong.

“Maybe the Police Federation were not “Crying Wolf” after all – as we were once accused by the Prime Minister.

“It is absurd to suggest that the loss of police officers across England and Wales and in Greater Manchester have not and will not continue to contribute this rise in crime.”

In 2010, there were 143,734 police officers in England and Wales. There are now 122,395. That's 21,339 fewer. In Greater Manchester, there were 8,148 police officers in 2010. There are now 6,391. That's 1,757 fewer.

According to Government statistics there’s been a 12% increase in #police recorded offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in the past year - to 39,332 offences. It’s at the highest level since comparable data began to be collected in April 2010.

Meanwhile the total number of incidents involving knives or sharp instruments reported in Greater Manchester between September 2017 – September 2018 was 3,139.

That’s a 7% increase.

Stu added: “The Prime Minister and her Government have been consistent in their attempts to reduce Stop and Search to fit a political agenda. Stop and Search is at an all-time low and knife crime is at an all-time high. This cause and effect is not difficult to understand, is it…..?”

Latest Home Office figures show that in the year ending March 2018, there were 279,598 stops and searches conducted by police officers in England and Wales. This was a fall of 8% compared with the previous year and continuing the downward trend since the peak in the year ending March 2011 when there 1,229,324 stop and searches.

“This was the lowest number of stops since the data collection began in the year ending March 2002.

Stu added: “Policing is only one part of the effort to reduce Knife Crime and numerous other methods to tackle this crisis should be partnered with these endeavours such as the availability of youth services, mentoring and mental health support. The failure of this Government to fund such initiatives is a direct contributor to this epidemic.

“Sadly, the evidence base is clear and the contempt shown by this Government for Law and Order and the safety of the public has been laid bare for all to see. Robust words and punch lines from the Home Secretary and the Prime Minster will not save lives.

“It’s time to invest to prevent this continuing epidemic and our thoughts are with the families of the victims of this senseless violence.”

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