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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 May 2019

Knife crime tragedy linked to council cuts

More repressive police powers will only esacalte tensions, photo by Senan

More repressive police powers will only esacalte tensions, photo by Senan   (Click to enlarge)

Kristian Sucilla O'Sullivan, Birmingham North Socialist Party

There has been a tragic rise in knife crime.

In my home city of Birmingham there have been over 270 knife crimes so far this year. West Midlands Police report an 87% increase since 2013-2014.

A study published by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime links council cuts to youth services and the increase of knife crime. This is a position working-class people have been putting forward for years!

Areas worst hit by youth spending cuts also saw some of the biggest knife crime rises. Council youth services have been cut by 40% since 2014-2015.

This study was produced by politicians responsible for passing on austerity cuts. It's good to acknowledge the link, but what are they going to do about it?

The chief constable of Birmingham police promised 'more patrols and more stop and search'. Just bringing in more officers doesn't guarantee crime being reduced.

In March, the Socialist Party said: "Measures like [extra police on the streets] can have a contradictory impact - sometimes making whole communities feel criminalised rather than protected - especially with police powers like 'stop and search' which disproportionately target black people."

Police should be democratically accountable to the communities they police in order to ease the tension where it exists.

There needs to be a holistic approach - understanding the social factors behind crime such as poverty. Poverty is increasing every day.

Low-paid and insecure jobs, unaffordable housing and increasing rent, draconian welfare sanctions, rising transport costs of transportation and cuts to youth centres and youth programmes mean future opportunities are being stolen from this younger generation.

In desperation, people can turn to gangs and crime to escape from poverty.

This is a shocking study, but it proposes no action. We need to tackle poverty head on with rent control and council homes, a minimum wage of at least 10 an hour as a step towards a real living wage, free education and living grants so students don't leave education in debt, and fully funded youth and public services.

A socialist society would value the lives of young people. And take the wealth at the top into public ownership under democratic workers' control to start to do this.

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In The Socialist 15 May 2019:


News

Take the wealth off the super-rich

Privatisers sue NHS - kick out the fat cats and fully nationalise our health service!

Workload-related mistakes by GPs on the rise - health unions need to fight back

Knife crime tragedy linked to council cuts

Them & Us


What we think

Bosses fear revolt against capitalism


Workplace news

Mitie workers striking against poverty pay

Birmingham home care strikers close to victory!

Newham gas workers' strike threat

Usdaw united on need for fightback - now keep pressure on for action

End high-stakes testing in primary schools: build the boycott ballot!

PCS union officialdom splits vote, removes Chris Baugh - but is still rejected by members

Honda bosses confirm Swindon closure: Unite must signal it will fight


International socialist news and analysis

Revolution and counter-revolution in Sudan


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Trump UK visit: Protest against the billionaire bigot

Palestinian solidarity demo


Climate change

Profit system rapidly destroying environment

Socialist policies needed to halt climate disaster


Opinion

May 1649 - the Last Stand of the Levellers

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

Crime:

triangleTV: Crime and Punishment - this brutal watch is a damning indictment of cuts and capitalism

triangleKnife and gun crime a product of poverty and austerity

triangle'Line of Duty' - twists and turns as organised crime meets police corruption

triangleKnife crime - a product of capitalist misery

triangleEast London Socialist Party: What socialists say about knife crime

Cuts:

triangleStrong union response needed against job cuts

triangleSafe protests against Tory corona chaos continue

triangleJohnson's plan terrifies me - readers react to lifting lockdown

triangleSafe social-distancing car-cavalcade protests

Council:

triangleHull Trades Council debates workers' political representation

triangleCrisis in council services: Labour must fight or stand aside

triangleHomes needed to end overcrowding

Police:

triangleIrish police use Covid-19 emergency powers to disperse Dublin shop workers' protest

triangleTV review: The Trial of Christine Keeler

Youth:

triangle'Roses are red, violets are blue, BP and Shell - we're coming for you'

Poverty:

triangleUniversal Basic Income: not a solution to insecurity and poverty under capitalism

Birmingham:

triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Role of the community and voluntary sector

Stop and search:

triangleAnger after violent youth deaths - Communities need public services not cuts

Gangs:

triangleMexico: socialists violently attacked by gangs - urgent solidarity needed

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