Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1042/29105
From The Socialist newspaper, 15 May 2019
Knife crime tragedy linked to council cuts
More repressive police powers will only esacalte tensions, photo by Senan (Click to enlarge)
Kristian Sucilla O'Sullivan, Birmingham North Socialist Party
There has been a tragic rise in knife crime.
In my home city of Birmingham there have been over 270 knife crimes so far this year. West Midlands Police report an 87% increase since 2013-2014.
A study published by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime links council cuts to youth services and the increase of knife crime. This is a position working-class people have been putting forward for years!
Areas worst hit by youth spending cuts also saw some of the biggest knife crime rises. Council youth services have been cut by 40% since 2014-2015.
This study was produced by politicians responsible for passing on austerity cuts. It's good to acknowledge the link, but what are they going to do about it?
The chief constable of Birmingham police promised 'more patrols and more stop and search'. Just bringing in more officers doesn't guarantee crime being reduced.
In March, the Socialist Party said: "Measures like [extra police on the streets] can have a contradictory impact - sometimes making whole communities feel criminalised rather than protected - especially with police powers like 'stop and search' which disproportionately target black people."
Police should be democratically accountable to the communities they police in order to ease the tension where it exists.
There needs to be a holistic approach - understanding the social factors behind crime such as poverty. Poverty is increasing every day.
Low-paid and insecure jobs, unaffordable housing and increasing rent, draconian welfare sanctions, rising transport costs of transportation and cuts to youth centres and youth programmes mean future opportunities are being stolen from this younger generation.
In desperation, people can turn to gangs and crime to escape from poverty.
This is a shocking study, but it proposes no action. We need to tackle poverty head on with rent control and council homes, a minimum wage of at least £10 an hour as a step towards a real living wage, free education and living grants so students don't leave education in debt, and fully funded youth and public services.
A socialist society would value the lives of young people. And take the wealth at the top into public ownership under democratic workers' control to start to do this.
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In The Socialist 15 May 2019:
Take the wealth off the super-rich
Privatisers sue NHS - kick out the fat cats and fully nationalise our health service!
Workload-related mistakes by GPs on the rise - health unions need to fight back
Knife crime tragedy linked to council cuts
Them & Us
What we think
Bosses fear revolt against capitalism
Mitie workers striking against poverty pay
Birmingham home care strikers close to victory!
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Usdaw united on need for fightback - now keep pressure on for action
End high-stakes testing in primary schools: build the boycott ballot!
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International socialist news and analysis
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Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Trump UK visit: Protest against the billionaire bigot
Palestinian solidarity demo
Profit system rapidly destroying environment
Socialist policies needed to halt climate disaster
May 1649 - the Last Stand of the Levellers
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The Socialist 15 May 2019 |
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