No parent should ever have to receive news that their child has been killed, which is why today in Parliament, I raised the alarming increase of knife crime across the country, directly with the Home Office Minister. Greater Manchester suffers from some of the worst rates of knife crime in the country, with the total number of knife crime incidents reaching 10,864 between 2020 and 2023 and I want to ensure that no more young lives are lost to this epidemic that is plaguing our society.

I asked the Policing Minister today if he would meet with Kelly Brown, whose son Rhamero was tragically stabbed and killed in Old Trafford in 2021. Rhamero was only 16 years old when his life was tragically taken in an act of sensless violence and his mother Kelly has since campaigned tirelessly to make sure no other families have to endure the suffering she and her family have faced, including raising money to fund a network of bleed kits across Greater Manchester and a youth project in Fallowfield. I am pleased that the Minister has agreed to meet with Kelly, an important step in tackling this problem.

Though knife crime is down 16% across Greater Manchester, I wholly agree with Mayor Andy Burnham that there is more work to be done to ensure the safety of our communities and prosperity of our city’s youth. I am fully behind the work of Greater Manchester Police’s Violence Reduction Unit and their 10-year strategy which centres a community and public health oriented approach to tackling the pre-dispositions of knife crime as well acting in swift response to incidents of knife crime.  

The Government’s Criminal Justice Bill, which is currently making its way through Parliament, simply does not go far enough in tackling the serious problems that the country and the criminal justice system face. A Labour Government will point to early intervention as the key to preventing young people from being drawn into crime, being tough not only on crime but equally, on the causes of crime too.

I want to see justice for Rhamero West and for his tragic story to not ever be repeated again, our young people deserve to feel safe in their communities. 

You can watch my question to the Home Secretary here or read the full text of the debate on Hansard here.

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