Around Ealing February/March 2019 - Page 23

COMMUNITY SAFETY Bin knives, not lives Ealing Council is working hard to tackle knife crime in the borough and, with the number of incidents in London rising over the last year, a strategy is being put in place to help keep young people safe. Philip Brent reports. A and knife bins, coupled with enforcement action, are a key component to our strategy going forward. We know that this blight is having a serious impact on young people and their families across the borough and that many may be carrying a knife out of fear. It is vital that we make it possible for those walking around with knives to safely and easily surrender them.” Borough police commander Paul Martin said: “Our job is to tackle crime head-on and to reduce the incidents of knife crime and make it safer for people and their families to go about life feeling safe.” s part of the borough’s knife crime and serious violence strategy, more than 10 WORKING WITH SCHOOLS knife bins will be installed The council and police have been in the coming months with the aim of working alongside schools to raise taking weapons off the streets, awareness and educate pupils by providing an easy way of – not only about the getting rid of them safely. very real dangers of The bins will be placed possessing a knife t in busy areas so they are a o e Watch vid not hard to find. Any / wsextra.c knives will be disposed of ealingne / knife f e a t ur e s by the police unless there is an obvious sign one has been used in a crime. However, the strategy does not just focus on people surrendering weapons, it also looks at educating young people, reducing youth violence, making sure offenders are brought to justice and supporting victims and their witnesses. Councillor Joanna Camadoo, the council’s cabinet member for inclusion and community safety, said: “Tackling knife crime is a top priority for this administration. We are taking swift action but also the stark facts that anyone caught in possession of an illegal knife can face up to four years in prison; while those convicted of using them to attack someone can face a minimum jail sentence of 10 years. Every high school and college can be provided with a knife ‘wand’ that can detect hidden weapons as part of a London-wide initiative with the Metropolitan Police. Councillor Yvonne Johnson, cabinet member for schools and children’s services, said: “Recognising the importance of prevention and working alongside schools is vital for dealing with this complex issue. Raising awareness through safeguarding sessions and appointing a safer schools officer to all schools within the borough provides the right education for young people.” Read the full story at features/knife  Borough commander Paul Martin  and Councillor Camadoo  around ealing    February 2019 23