No complacency as knife crime dominates election debate in Carshalton and Wallington

By Dan Alexander
December 8 2019, 15.15

It’s one of the safest constituencies for knife crime in the capital but both candidates in Carshalton and Wallington are keen to avoid complacency.

Liberal Democrat candidate Tom Brake wants to see greater investment into youth services to tackle the problem across the capital and stop it spreading to his borough.

Mr Brake said: “We propose £500 million for youth services. Fingers crossed so far it hasn’t spread from Croydon to Sutton, let’s hope it stays that way.

“If we want to be serious about tackling knife crime then having decent youth services which are providing the right type of activities that are attractive to young people is a priority.”

Of this nationwide investment he wants to see £2 million a year invested in Sutton.

Mr Brake’s Conservative rival for the seat is 27-yearold Elliot Colburn who wants to see knife crime repelled by increased investment in police officers and hopes the constituency will benefit from his party’s pledge to recruit 20,000 new police officers.

As part of the investment, the Metropolitan Police would target recruiting 1,369 across the service in the first year.

Mr Colburn said: “We are quite lucky to live in a relatively safe borough, but we can’t take that for granted. “Nationally we are putting more money into policing and I want to see Sutton get a fair share of the 20,000 new officers.

“Once the kid gets the knife in his hand it is too late, for me the issue is a lot more about community policing and preventative policing to ensure we have a constructive conversation between the police and young people.”

Mr Colburn also wants to see the Violence reduction Unit take an increased role in tackling the problem.

“I’ve been disappointed that the Violence Reduction Unit in City Hall is still seemingly failing to get off the ground,” Mr Colburn said.

“It was based off a model of something that was successful in Glasgow, so I would like to see the one in London get off the ground.”

Mr Brake has also backed the Violence Reduction Unit which aims to involve youth workers, police, teachers, social services and health professionals to prevent young people becoming involved with gangs.

Read more about what’s important to south west London constituencies in our 24-page General Election preview special.

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