How many more you may say?
Whose responsibility is it to deal or tackle this key issue of knife crime that seems to be rearing its ugly head in our communities?
The deaths of Azim Azam in Moseley and Joshua Ribera in Selly Oak, cannot go unnoticed and this is a wake-up call that we as a Community must now act and do something about it
The key question is what do we do?
My colleague Rajinder Rattu for the past couple of months has been campaigning for a knife amnesty and we must as a community demand not only call for a knife amnesty, but, adopt a new high-profile approach by developing an inter-agency approach this issue on a long term basis.
The short term/season approach is ineffective in tackling issues that affect our communities such as such as knife crime and can no longer acceptable.
I would today call upon the Police and Crime Commissioner, West Midlands Police to come together with all our communities to tackle this.
We need to have a strategic approach involving various communication channels that exist in our communities, involving the houses of faith; Schools through the Head Teachers, Community and Youth Groups, however, the most important participants are our Young People to be pioneering this. They must be the visible face of this Campaign and use this to also build bridges with the Authorities.
I believe this is an ideal opportunity now for everyone to come together and show the spirit of community working with the authorities to tackle this issue.
When I talk about a high profile approach we need to have leaflets we need to have billboards we need to have various radio adverts on specialist Community Stations and also structured Community Policing. We need to have Head Teachers talking about this in assembly; we need to have Faith leader’s talking about this during their respective services.
We need everyone now to get on board to start the educational process that you do not need to have a knife and the impact that knives have upon on people's lives.
My deepest condolences to the families of Joshua Ribera and Azim Azam; No words can ever replace your loss, however, let's ensure their deaths are not in vain by all of us coming together and commence the task of making our streets safer for young all.