Holly Lynch MP: Shocking crime figures in our region
Holly Lynch MP wrties: The Courier found that since August 2020, 355 people have been arrested for knife-related crimes in Calderdale, including two arrests for murder in August 2021 and five arrests for attempted murder.
The age of offenders ranged from children as young as 12, to males in their 70s.
Alongside harrowing incidents of sexual crime, there were 71 arrests for threats to kill and 107 arrests for assault with injury involving knives.
I’m sure that like me, Courier readers will be shocked by these numbers.
But behind every number is the harrowing experience of a victim and you find yourself wondering, how have we got here as a society?
Having spent a great deal of time over the summer out and about across Halifax, people’s fear and experiences of crime feel more real than ever.
Reports of drug dealing, anti-social behaviour and speeding were coming up on almost every street.
It was recently National Emergency Services Day and I want to pay tribute to our local police officers and the partners they work with to keep us safe.
But it increasingly feels like they are fighting a losing battle when you see these knife crime statistics.
Far from being tough on crime and the causes of crime, it feels like the last 13 years have been tough on policing, tough on the criminal justice system and devastating to youth services.
We need to rebuild those services if we are to start to reverse the ugly trends laid bare by these knife crime numbers.
A Labour government will also introduce a Victim’s Bill to put victims back at the heart of the justice system.
Having fought to keep the two courts we have lost here in Halifax, I’m excited by our proposals to tackle the backlogs in the courts by boosting the Crown Prosecutor pool by 50 per cent.
Alongside this, we will rebuild youth services by implementing a full prevention and diversion programme.
This will involve new youth mentors for young people most vulnerable to crime and mental health professionals in schools.
On our roads, I’m acutely aware of the two recent deaths in Halifax following road traffic collisions. I can’t begin to imagine what families must go through losing a loved one.
I want to thank deputy mayor of West Yorkshire, Alison Lowe, for inviting me to attend the Vision Zero Board meeting last week.
Vision Zero pulls together partners from West Yorkshire’s Councils, West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and other key partner agencies to work towards eliminating all traffic fatalities and severe injuries across West Yorkshire.
By working together and taking a public health approach to road safety, the initiative aims to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads by 50 per cent by 2030, and down to zero by 2040.
Thankfully, meaningful progress is already being made, with casualties in West Yorkshire down by 10 per cent in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same quarter in 2022.
We know however, that there is still important work to be done.
That is why I am keen to work with and support this partnership in whatever way I can in the hope we can make a truly lasting and positive impact on our roads.