Knife crime is an epidemic on our streets, according to Desmond Jaddoo, speaking at the Matthew Boulton College.
Jaddoo was one of six panellists at the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Hustings, an event hosted by The Lunar Society, Chairing the session, New Style Radio's Charmaine Burton was central to proceedings as the panel tackled knife crime, racism in the police force and illegal substances, amongst other matters.
On the panel alongside We Matter Party's, Desmond Jaddoo were Labour candidate Simon Foster and Mark Hoath of Reform UK. Also, Jon Hunt of Liberal Democrat, Conservative's Jay Singh-Sohal and Julie Hambleton (Independent). Billed as an opportunity for the public to hear from candidates for the role of West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) before the election on Thursday, May 6, 2021, the event streamed live via zoom.
"I don't see knife crime as a phenomenon," Jaddoo said via a video presentation. "I see knife crime as an epidemic on our streets."
He said: "We're doing a lot of work on knife crime over the years. I've been involved in school education programmes, Weapons Surrender Bins - indeed, yesterday we opened our Weapons Surrender Bin in Sandwell, the only knife bin in West Bromwich. In addition to that, over the past three weeks, we've collected in excess of one hundred and fifty knives off our streets. "We also place Bleed Control Kits out.
“We've place out over a hundred and twenty Bleed Control Kits now, and that is increasing. "Developing awareness and having, an --- what we call --- 'In Your Face Campaign,' in layman's terms, is what we need to be doing. We need to energise communities. We need to have a zero-tolerance approach to knife crime, but what does that zero-tolerance approach look like?"
He said: "We don't need any more reports. We don't need any more seminars. What we require now is affirmative action, to work with young people particularly, to educate young people about the ills of knife crime, and also as well to get to the root causes." The votes counted in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell, Coventry, Solihull, and Walsall will decide the next PCC.