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Church should prioritise knife crime, charity recommends

Tue 23 Jan 2018
By Eno Adeogun

A Christian charity has called on the Church to be more involved in tackling knife crime.

The recommendation follows claims made by a top officer at Scotland Yard that the courts and prisons aren't doing enough to tackle knife-related crime.

There were 80 fatal stabbings in London last year - the highest number for almost a decade.

 

Les Isaac, CEO of Ascension Trust and co-founder of Street Pastors - which works to make communities safer - told Premier the Church should prioritise knife crime.

Speaking during the News Hour, he said: "The Church has a very unique place in terms of helping communities.

"I often say to Christian leaders, 'listen, you're in every community, whether you meet in a pub or at home or a building or a school - the Church is there'.

"I think what's important for the Church - particularly the leaders - is to make this issue a priority."

The increased number of fatal stabbings in the capital has led to an increase in officers' use of controversial stop and search powers.

Assistant commissioner at the Metropolitan Police Martin Hewitt said: "My position would be that stop and search is an absolutely crucial tactic in dealing with particularly something like knife crime.

"We convince politicians by effectively using stop and search and getting the results that we need from stop and search and managing some of those community tensions."

Senior police officers in London believe they can learn from tactics used in Scotland, when it comes to tackling knife crime.

Wikimedia Commons

 

Glasgow was branded the most violent city in the developed world twelve years ago in a report but, since then, the Scottish murder rate has more than halved after a Violence Reduction Unit was set up.

Isaac told Premier what the Church needs to do to combat knife crime.

He said: "Number one - they're praying about it.

"Number two, they're profiling the challenges that societies have and not only that but the challenges that a lot of their church members are facing with their young children - be it their grandchildren or their children."

He added: "Churches need to say, 'how can we in a very practical way get involved'?"

Listen to Les Isaac, CEO of Ascension Trust and co-founder of Street Pastors, speaking with Premier's Tola Mbakwe:

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