ASLEF at London Labour Conference

06 March 2019

At London Labour Party Conference at the beginning of March, ASLEF delegate Lucio Buffone moved a composite motion on the ongoing issue of knife crime in London which was widely supported and passed by conference.

The full text of the motion is below:

 

Conference notes:

  • With concern the increase in violent crime, and particularly knife crime, across London.
  • That both victims and perpetrators are typically of school age and that in London this type of crime disproportionately affects young Black males. 16 young people were killed in knife crimes in London in 2018, and many more wounded. This tragedy is a direct result of the ideological Tory policy to impose austerity, with public services devastated by cuts, a school system that fails our children, grinding poverty, and obscene inequality.
  • In 2017-18 the highest levels of knife crime in a decade were recorded, hitting a peak of 14,700 incidents in the Metropolitan Police area, up 21% from the previous twelve months, and up by more than 50% from the lowest levels this decade in 2014-15.
  • This trend has also been observed on the rail network, where there has been a 26% increase in violent crime, with offences involving knives or other weapons up by 46% between 2016-17 and 2017-18. Crime on the rail network puts passengers and staff at risk, and it is essential that the British Transport Police are fully resourced to be able to deal with crime on the railways and not leave staff vulnerable to violence and abuse.
  • The shocking rise in violent crime has come alongside swingeing Tory government cuts to police funding which have seen the number of officers fall. It is clear that the reduction in police officer numbers is a factor in the increased levels of crime, putting people and communities at risk.
  • This conference rejects any increased use of random stop-and-search, and censorship of certain types of music. These are counter-productive knee-jerk reactions that further undermine trust. Drill music for instance is an expression of young people’s lives, and not the cause of the violence.
  • This conference believes that a substantive and positive multi-agency approach is required across social welfare, education, mental health, and youth and community services, working alongside but independently of the police and criminal justice system. Such initiatives should be led by the Mayor working in close co-operation with local authorities.

 

Conference calls on:

  • The UK Government to deliver on its promises to provide increased funding for the police, not just as a token but at the levels required to ensure safety and effective law enforcement, and further resolves to resist any cuts or reduction in the number of British Transport Police officers patrolling the rail network, or in their resources.
  • London Labour to facilitate a discussion on:
    • The impact of austerity;
    • What is going wrong in schools;
    • The need for mental health, youth and community services;
    • The role of policing;
    • Mechanisms for local democratic accountability.

 

 

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