MK Conservative Group will be proposing an additional £80,000 over the next two years to fund knife crime prevention engagement sessions for all year 5 and 8 students in the City, through their amendment at tomorrow’s budget Full Council.
The visit of the Knife Angel, and corresponding 30 days of action, in December was an undoubted success, with approximately 25,000 people taking in the statue and 1500 year 5 and 6 children attending education sessions with The Safety Centre (Hazard Alley). This work has undoubtedly made a positive impact, raising awareness of the dangers and consequences of carrying knives. It is vital that the momentum made from this great work is not lost and as a community, we build upon the strives made by this ground-breaking and innovative project.
Whilst MK Conservative Group welcomes the Progressive Alliance’s targeted proposal of £15,000 for a summer engagement scheme, it is not enough to sustainably continue the legacy of the Knife Angel across the City. Should the Labour-Lib Dem administration support the progress made towards reducing levels of knife crime within our community, the £80,000 (£40,000 for each of the upcoming two years) would be used to fund engagement sessions for every year 5 and year 8 student in Milton Keynes. Research shows that by the time they reach Year 8, young people are four times more likely to consider carrying a knife, thus it is vital that we engage and share the reality of the dangers that carrying present to young people at this influential stages of their development.
Councillor Adam Rolfe, Ward Councillor for Bletchley West and the Shadow Cabinet Member for Tackling Social Inequalities said:
“The presence of the Knife Angel in Milton Keynes was a great opportunity to raise awareness and initiate a month of action against violence of all forms, particularly the consequences of Knife Crime, and we mustn’t slow down or halt the brilliant work that has occurred.
“Whilst I welcome the administration’s Youth Justice Knife Crime Reduction pilot, I believe we must do more to tackle knife crime in Milton Keynes.
“That is why the Conservative Group have proposed an additional £80,000 over the next two years to fund Knife Crime prevention engagement sessions for all students in Year 5 and Year 8.
“Knife Crime isn’t a party-political issue, we all want to take a stand against knife crime, so I am hopeful that the administration will accept this amendment!”
Cllr David Hopkins, Group Leader and Shadow Cabinet member for Children and Young People, adds
‘We have all seen the devastating effects that knife crime is having on communities right across the UK, including in our city of Milton Keynes.
A range of organisations across the city are already working together to tackle this issue and we should use the opportunity of having hosted the Knife Angel in MK as a way of widening the conversation and making sure we work with our younger communities to create a safer city and to encourage peace and create greater hope’.