Knife crime focus
A teenager from Slough has reflected on taking part in a national discussion about knife crime.
Former Slough Youth Parliament representative, Susy Senghor, 16, is one of just 11 members of the National Youth Select Committee, which plays a vital role in raising awareness of the issues affecting young people across the UK.
Following its call for evidence on the issue of knife crime – a key concern for young people across the country, including in Slough, as highlighted by the 2018 ‘Make Your Mark’ ballot of young people – the National Youth Select Committee held oral evidence sessions in the House of Commons on 5 and 12 July.
During the sessions the Youth Select Committee considered evidence contributed by young people, schools, businesses, and organisations supporting both victims and offenders. The Safer Slough Partnership also contributed evidence.
The purpose of the oral evidence sessions was to collate information on the scale of the problem, prevention, possible interventions, social media and cultural influences, and to consider possible solutions.
After the debate, speaking to BBC Berkshire, Susy, who is Vice Chair of the National Youth Select Committee, said: “I have always been really passionate about knife crime. I realised it was becoming really normalised in my community. I thought to myself it is really just time to be the change.
“All the victims I knew were either black or Asian and they were not gang affiliated. The families go through a lot; it is a very painful experience.
“The number of fatal stabbings last year in England and Wales was the highest since data collection began in 1946. I really hope there will be a change.”
The sessions were open to the public and broadcast live on Parliament TV and UK Parliament YouTube. Susy also visited 10 Downing Street to discuss knife crime, and met the then Prime Minister Theresa May.
Cllr Mohammed Nazir, cabinet member for housing and community safety, said: “We are extremely proud Susy has represented Slough at the Houses of Parliament and now at Number 10 raising the importance issue of knife crime and we look forward to the production of the committee’s report.”