This is absurd and insulting in equal measure. It borders on racial profiling.
It is typical of this government that rather than taking a serious, thoughtful approach to knife crime and thinking about ways to address prevention, early intervention and the underlying causes they instead indulge in this unbelievably inappropriate and stereotype-reinforcing headline-grabbing. Who on earth thought it was a good idea to put messages in boxes used at chicken shops? Did they not even consider how problematic this was and how it would appear?
One of the core principles that must be part of any strategy to address knife crime and indeed all violent crime, is the need for a holistic, multi-agency, public-health approach. It is essential that we work to address prevention, early intervention and the underlying causes of crime. That will involve electing a Labour government. This stunt, by comparison, is just a gimmick by the Tories and is one of the many reasons why we need them out of office as soon as possible.
The new policing minister Kit Malthouse has been quoted as saying:
“The government is doing everything it can to tackle the senseless violence that is traumatising communities and claiming too many young lives, including bolstering the police’s ranks with 20,000 new police officers on our streets.”
Lest we forget, the 20,000 officers, to be provided over 3 years, will not even fully replace the numbers lost since 2010. The reality is that extra police officers will not in and of itself solve this problem as it doesn’t address the underlying causes.
The Tories would be far better off investing the money it has spent on chicken boxes in addressing the underlying causes of knife crime – causes that their austerity policies have made worse over the last decade.