NBPA: Open letter on knife crime to NPCC leads

09 April 2018

Dear CC Boutcher, Commissioner Dick, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Duncan Ball, 

I am writing to you to express the concern that the National Black Police Association and I share with you about the rise in deaths from knife crime. 

We recognise that although London has been the media focus, this is a national issue. We also believe that this is a complex, wicked problem that requires a far more sophisticated response than we in policing can provide alone. The factors include education, safeguarding and public health. While welcoming more officers on the streets of London using intelligence led Stop & search, targeted on persons, gangs and areas, this tactic will not resolve the issue on its own. Nor will it provide the reassurance necessary to stop young people from areas not associated with knife crime or violence carrying weapons to protect themselves. 

Sadly, many of the victims and perpetrators come from those black and minority ethnic communities the NBPA members are drawn from across the UK. We join in mourning with the friends and families of young people whose lives have been cut short. We also believe that the leadership and partnership to resolve the current epidemic of death and violence comes from our communities working alongside policing.  

I welcome the introduction of Karyn McCluskey and of the Violence Reduction Unit in Scotland which has provided a long term solution especially to gang violence. We also welcome community engagement activities that act as diversionary tactics for troubled young people. We believe that these should be a focus since they are part of the longer term solution. These also provide a conduit of information and intelligence on violent crime that enforcement can never give us. 

I can assure you that the Black Police Associations I represent are hard at work engaging with communities and considering solutions. We look at the misery being caused by this high harm crime and we want to help. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Tola Munro

President, National Black Police Association