Mansfield MP quizzes children's commissioner about knife crime risks

Mansfield's MP Ben Bradley has taken part in a Q&A with Britain's children's commissioner in a bid to raise awareness about the risks of knife crime.

Mr Bradley took part in an accountability session with Anne Longfield OBE, the Children’s Commissioner, as part of his work on the Education Select Committee.

Mansfield MP Ben Bradley pictured with Mansfield police inspector Nick Butler.

Mansfield MP Ben Bradley pictured with Mansfield police inspector Nick Butler.

He raised his concerns about knife crime and whether enough was being done to tackle the increase in knife related attacks.

Ms Longfield highlighted the fact that that she wanted more parliamentarians to become "obsessed with making a difference" in order to tackle the root causes of knife crime.

She said: "Everything that has emerged from our work shows that there is this a really vulnerable group of kids who are falling through the gaps and becoming marginalised.

"Those are the kids that we often refer to as being invisible, often until they hit those headlines. Be that knife crime, be that other forms of violence.

"But also, the other part of that, everything that we do leads us to believe it doesn’t have to be like that. So there’s a real belief that it can be different, there can be a solution. And that solution is all about getting in early, about identifying those children when things go wrong and about putting the springboards in place that help them fly rather than sink."

Mr Bradley said: "I’m really pleased I had the opportunity to quiz the Children’s Commissioner about knife crime, which is an issue that my constituents across Mansfield and Warsop have concerns about.

"Anne raised some really important points about the importance of early intervention. I am pleased that the Government has identified that early intervention is a key aspect of tackling knife crime and has introduced the new £22 million Early Intervention Youth Fund for community projects to help young people live lives free from violence.

"Additionally, the £200 million Youth Endowment Fund, which provides support for young people most at risk of serious violence, will help catch young people before they go down the wrong path.

"On a local level, I’ve been really impressed with the work that Mansfield Police have been doing to keep Mansfield and Warsop safe. For example, Mansfield Police launched Operation Scorpio last month to target knife crime in Mansfield town centre.

"They’ve made a really proactive effort to engage positively with our community about the work Mansfield Police are doing to protect us, which includes utilising a knife arch."