Theresa May: Responsibility of knife crime ‘lies with the perpetrators’

Theresa May: Responsibility of knife crime ‘lies with the perpetrators’

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The prime minister has said that the ‘responsibility’ of knife crime ‘lies with the perpetrators’ but has said that she will hold a summit with community groups in Downing Street on the issue.

Speaking in Prime Minister’s Questions, Theresa May said: “The deaths of anyone through an act of violence is an appalling tragedy. A growing number of young people have lost their lives in a growing cycle of violence that has shocked us all.”

She added: “The responsibility for the crimes lies with the perpetrators of them but we must all do more to ensure justice is served and tackle the root causes of this violence and bring it to an end and ensure the safety of our young people.”



Jeremy Corbyn has accused Mrs May of not doing enough to tackle the "root cause" of the rise in knife crime.

The Labour leader welcomed the news that the prime minister was convening Cobra, then asked: "But what extra funding is being provided to tackle the root causes of both knife crime and the increasing levels of violent crime on the streets of all our towns and cities?"

He pointed to the recent deaths of 17-year-olds Jodie Chesney and Yousef Makki, and said there were 285 people stabbed to death last year, the "highest level ever".


'Scourge of violence'

Mrs May has ensured that "all agencies have the right resources".

She repeated her initial statement that “responsibility for these terrible crimes does lie with the perpetrators” before adding: “We will always stand with the victims to ensure that criminals are brought to justice.

"But we will only defeat the scourge of violence if we understand and address its complex root causes."

Conservative MP Julia Lopez said it was with "profound sadness" her constituency had joined the "all too long list of areas across our country to have lost a precious young person to knife crime".



Demanding to know what action Mrs May was taking to keep children safe, she said: "The public don't want to see politicians throw blame at one another for these stolen lives.

"They want to see them take responsibility for what's within their control, provide resources if resource is necessary and then demonstrate a relentless and total commitment to snuffing out violent crime."

Mrs May said a "cross-society approach" was needed and she had launched a consultation on the public health model that had successfully reduced knife crime in Glasgow.

She added: "It's not just about catching the perpetrators, it's about preventing the crime from taking place in the first place."