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View from the House: Solving problem of violence isn’t easy – but government isn’t even doing the basics

PUBLISHED: 08:00 24 November 2018

Archant

It breaks my heart to see the escalating violence on our streets.

The media often tells the story to fit in with their simplified headlines. The truth is those murdered, and the murderers, are not just numbers but people who have friends, families and loved ones who are forever affected by these horrific crimes.

This is a complicated situation and the solutions are equally if not more complicated. But a few solutions are easy: they just take political will. As the former minister for young citizens and youth engagement, I can say Labour had a record amount of investment in youth services. This current government has slashed investment and decimated initiatives.

Youth centres are vital to engage and create positive narratives, reinforcing the importance of using time positively. It promotes a safe, stable environment not found on the streets or within a gang.

The gig economy means parents are working longer hours. Often families hardly ever see each other, let alone eat together.

The government’s crippling austerity policies have resulted in fewer police on our streets. More stop and searches will not stop this problem. Improved legislation and investment in policing would help. Short-term cuts have long-term consequences.

We need proper investment in mental health where young people can talk about their problems.

Labour would do things differently. We would recruit 10,000 police officers, champion community policing policies, and invest in our young people.

In Brent our community is our strength and together we will help to stop these senseless deaths.

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