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Police to tell Home Secretary the cost of tackling surge in knife crime

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The Home Secretary is to be told by police chiefs how much it will cost to launch an emergency “surge” to tackle knife crime in the UK.

Police constables were given until today to respond to Sajid Javid with a figure on how much funding is required to get more officers into knife crime hotspots. 

It comes a day after the fifth person in London was killed in a knife attack in less than a week. 

The teenager, who was stabbed in the chest in West Kensington on Thursday afternoon, is the 19th person to have died from a knife attack in the capital this year. 

The scene in Lanfrey Place on Thursday (NIGEL HOWARD)

Also on Thursday, in Romford, east London, locals marched in a show of solidarity with the family of scout Jodie Chesey, 17, who was fatally stabbed in Harold Hill a week ago. 

Her family were joined by friends and neighbours, many who were wearing purple, Ms Chesney’s favourite colour. 

Friends and family of Jodie Chesney march on the streets in Romford. (PA)

They demanded more front line officers to tackle the scourge of knife violence. 

This week, police mounted operations in knife crime hot spots to target suspected offenders

Knife arches were deployed in the West End will likely become a familiar site as police step up their blitz on knives. 

Police recover what appears to be a knife after searching a drain in West Kensington (Steve Parsons/PA)

It follows backlash against Chancellor Phillip Hammond, who demanded that police shift existing resources into tackling knife crime rather than expect more funding.

Mr Hammond said forces should move officers away from “lower priority” crime and on to knife violence.

His words, which also included a suggestion that public services would get more cash if MPs voted for Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, were lambasted by the Police Federation of England and Wales.

A knife arch operation took place in Walker’s Court, Soho. (Lucy Young)

The organisation’s national chairman John Apter said: “Children are dying on our streets and he has the audacity to suggest that the police need to prioritise. Let me assure him – this is a priority.

“Across England and Wales, my members are the ones working flat out to prevent more young people being killed.

“They are often the ones on their knees in the street trying desperately to save the lives of these young victims, they are the ones who have to deliver the terrible news to families that their loved one will never be coming home again.

Theresa May on tackling knife crime

“And they are doing it with almost 22,000 fewer colleagues than when the Conservative Government came to power.”

Mr Hammond insisted that police budgets were rising, and said knife crime was “an immediate problem, you cannot solve it by recruiting and training more officers – that takes time”.

One of Britain’s most senior police officers, chief constable of Merseyside Police, Andy Cooke, demanded “harsh” sentences for criminals caught carrying knives

Tributes laid in Harold Hill after the fatal stabbing of 17-year-old Jodie Chesneyon (PA)

He said judges needed to get tough on people who end up before the courts for carrying weapons, and urged the Government to unite in tackling the issue of knife crime, “rather than putting an obstacle in the way at every turn”.

He told the Daily Express: “I think the sentencing guidelines for knife possession are about right. We just need to make sure that those sentences are actually being carried out.

“We need the judiciary to be sentencing at the higher end of the sentencing that they can achieve on each and every occasion.”

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