Javid says police resources 'very important' as May faces knife crime backlash

Cocaine remains a problem

Sajid Javid has acknowledged that police resources are important in tackling knife violence, as Theresa May faced a mounting backlash for denying a link between officer numbers and bloodshed on Britain's streets.

May introduced reforms when she was interior minister to use the powers in a more targeted way following accusations that black and ethnic minority individuals were being disproportionately affected.

"We just haven't got the capacity, we just haven't got the officers at the moment so we need some money now to pay for overtime to pay for mutual aid between forces".

He said: "Does the Prime Minister now regret cuts in police numbers and will she undertake that under this review they will be restored to the level they were formerly at?"

Mrs May said the problem would require "a whole-of-government effort, in conjunction with the police, the wider public sector and local communities".

That idea of an infection is also prompting government proposals to deal with knife crime in the same way you might deal with a public health emergency.

A 20-year-old man arrested in Leicester on Tuesday evening in connection with the murder of the 17-year-old is now in custody at a London police station.

In Birmingham three teenagers - two aged 16 and one 18 - died in the space of 12 days last month.

Figures published last month by the Office of National Statistics showed that there were 285 fatal stabbings in England and Wales a year ago - the highest since records began in 1946.

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Asked if she agreed with the statement, Ms Dick said: "I think anybody who is not seriously mentally ill, seriously addicted, who is seeking "recreational" drugs, particularly class A drugs, yes, I think that is a good way to put it, I do".

Mrs May, who is to host a summit on knife crime, said the Government is putting more resources into policing.

It means still treating each case as a crime, but also looking to stop knife crime before it starts - in families and places such as schools and youth centres.

He said they have had no requests for assistance but "would always be ready to respond".

"We will only defeat the scourge of violence if we understand and address the complex root causes", she added, under pressure from main opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

"If there was no correlation between crime and police, then you wouldn't have any police at all".

Home Secretary Javid earlier held emergency talks with police chiefs, saying that "police resources are very important to deal with this".

The rise in knife crime is "almost certainly" linked to government-enforced austerity measures, Case told Al Jazeera, with cuts to "support services and opportunities for children. leaving communities increasingly disadvantaged and fearful".

He told Sky News that online retailers have a role to play in stopping people young people buying knives.

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