, 9 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Tanesha Melbourne Blake, 17, was shot and killed in my constituency last Easter Monday. After this, Theresa May should have taken personal charge of this violent crime epidemic, convened COBRA and personally driven strategy across the country.
How many more young lives have to be taken before the PM takes this surge in violent crime seriously? How many teenagers need to be stabbed? How many have to be shot?
The main causes of violent crime have been the same for at least 200 years. Social deprivation, exclusion and poverty push people into gangs and crime. London's housing crisis (prices have quadrupled in 20 years) and vast inequality are driving this surge.
Demand for cocaine and other drugs in London has rocketed. The young and deprived have become foot-soldiers in the battle to supply white powder. When rival gangs clash, kids get shot or stabbed. This is the price of the failed war on drugs.

International organised gangsters exploit and pimp out young teenage boys to run drugs. We should be focussing police resources on them. Instead UK Border Force has been cut by 18% since 2012-13. We're letting the adult criminals in suits get away with it.
Brutal cuts to local services are a huge part of the problem. Councils will see their budgets reduced by 54% from 2018-2020. Between 2012 and 2016, 600 youth centres closed, 3500 youth workers lost their jobs and 140,000 places for young people disappeared.
Neighbourhood policing has been dismantled. Since March 2015, the number of community support officers has fallen by 18% and 1/3 of street officers have been reassigned to other duties or left their jobs. Of course police cuts have an effect on knife crime @theresa_may.
Meanwhile parts of social media are causing mental health problems in our young people. With our youth disappearing down dangerous rabbit holes, many young women suffer from anxiety, depression or phobias. For young black men, social media too often glamorises violence.
And No, Stop and Search is not the answer. When it was cut by Hogan Howe and Theresa May after the riots and a reduction in knife crime followed. A Home Office study found “limited evidence of the effectiveness of stop and search in reducing crime”.

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