There were more than 10 knife crime related offences per week in Croydon in 2016, and new MP Sarah Jones has said enough is enough.
After replacing Gavin Barwell in the Croydon Central seat two months ago, one of Mrs Jones’ first actions has been to launch Croydon Voice, a programme of meetings with those affected by and tacking knife crime.
She plans to take the results of that evidence gathering back to Parliament, where a debate on the issue is being held on September 6.
This week she kicked off the progamme by meeting two grassroots community organisations – The LIONS Society and Another Night of Sisterhood (ANOS) – to discuss their work combating youth violence.
She said: “It was inspiring to meet ANOS and the LIONS and hear about their work.
“These are local people doing extraordinary things to support families and rebuild trust amongst young people in their community.
“It was valuable to hear first-hand what could be done to enable groups like this to help even more people.
“Croydon Voice is about using my platform as an MP to amplify the voice of groups like ANOS and the LIONS, of those experiencing knife crime, and fighting for change.”
Mrs Jones will meet with other community groups as well as families affected by knife crime during the summer recess away from Parliament and would like others doing important work in the town to get in touch.
Met Police figures show the borough had 571 knife crime related offences recorded in 2016.
The LIONS Society and ANOS work includes mentoring programmes, skills and employability, and support for parents.
Croydon’s Borough Commander, Chief Superintendent Jeff Boothe, and deputy leader of Croydon Council, Cllr Stuart Collins, were also in the meeting with Mrs Jones.