‘We have all seen the tragic consequences that carrying a knife brings’ - Batley and Spen MP calls for targeted new approach to tackle knife crime
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In January 2020, Robert Wilson, from Birstall, was stabbed to death with a samurai sword outside the factory where he worked. A few months later, in June 2020, Bradley Gledhill, a local 20-year old, was stabbed to death by six young men in an attack which Kim said “showed the worst of humanity”.
The MP praised Robert’s wife, Elaine, and Bradley’s mum and sister, Kelly and Bryony, for their work campaigning to end knife crime and teaching children at school the potentially life changing consequences of carrying a knife.
Kim has worked with them on a soon-to-be released short film commissioned by the BBEST group of schools across Batley and Birstall, that also touched on her own experience with the murder of Jo nearly eight years ago.
She told MPs: “We need a mission-led, multi-agency approach to get knives off our streets and prevent young people getting into the groups and gangs that exploit them.”
Among the proposals she put forward were tougher consequences for carrying a knife, more police officers back on the streets, and a crackdown on the availability of what she called “these hideous weapons”. She also called for early intervention and mental health and mentoring programmes in schools, pupil referral centres, custody centres and A&E units.
Kim added: “No other family should have to go through what these families, and indeed my own family, have had to go through.
“We have all seen the tragic consequences that carrying a knife brings.”