Knife crime has reached crisis levels on London’s streets – fuelled by cuts to police and youth services and growing poverty under the Conservatives. Steve has repeatedly demanded urgent action, telling the Prime Minister in the House of Commons to stop the terrifying increase in the use of knives on our streets. Already 84 young people have been killed on London’s streets this year.
Steve led the way pioneering the ‘public health’ approach to tackling youth crime– an approach that tackles the root causes of knife crime. It involves investing in more youth activities, better mental health services, reducing school exclusions, helping struggling families, targeting domestic abuse, and giving a real voice to young people from the most deprived communities. Steve’s approach, first piloted in Lambeth and other London boroughs, is now being introduced in Croydon.
I’ve met too many parents in Croydon North who’ve had to bury their children. We can’t take any more of this. We know what works, but instead the Conservatives have cut the police, cut our schools, cut youth services and cut social workers. I’m working with community groups in Croydon North to provide what support we can, but the only real answer is a Labour government that will end austerity and tackle the inequality that caused these problems in the first place.
Steven Reed is Labour MP for Croydon North and Shadow Minister for Children and Families. In 2018 his private member’s bill on reducing violent mental health restraint became law. In June 2019 he launched Labour’s civil society strategy outlining radical plans to empower citizens and communities.
Steve chairs the Cooperative Councils Innovation Network, co-chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for London, was Leader of Lambeth Council 2006-12 where he led the council’s children’s services to become best-rated in the country and pioneered the public-health approach to tackling violent youth crime. He worked in publishing for 16 years and was an elected trade union branch secretary.