No magic wand to stop violence, says Javid

Sajid Javid has warned there is no “magic wand” to end violence that is “terrorising” communities.

The Home Secretary said the causes of violent crime are “complex” and require collective action.

Pledging to do everything in his power to give those working on the frontline the tools they need to end the bloodshed, he defended the Government’s proposed new knife crime prevention orders.

The powers could be used to impose curfews or restrictions on social media use on anyone aged 12 or over who police suspect of carrying a blade.

Although they are civil orders, breaches will be a criminal offence that could result in up to two years in prison upon conviction.

While the plans have been backed by police chiefs, critics have said they are “flawed” and risk unnecessarily criminalising young people.

In an article for The Times Red Box, Mr Javid insisted the case for the orders is “clear”.

They were requested by police and have cross-party support, he said, emphasising that he did not want to see young people “condemned to a life of crime”.

Homicides involving a knife or sharp instrument
Homicides involving a knife or sharp instrument

Ministers and police have come under sustained pressure to get a grip on violent crime.

Last week it was disclosed that the number of fatal stabbings in England and Wales had risen to its highest level since records started more than 70 years ago.

Official statistics show there were 285 homicides where the method of killing was by a knife or sharp instrument in the year to March 2018.

This was the highest number since the Home Office’s Homicide Index began in 1946.

Mr Javid said: “I am determined to prevent violent crime scarring our society, terrorising our communities and, most devastatingly, destroying the lives of our next generation.

“The causes of violent crime are complex, and while I wish there was just one solution to end this, there is no magic wand we can wave.”