Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting ENFIELD NEWS to 80360, or email us
Enfield MP Nick de Bois challenges David Cameron on knife crime funding
An Enfield MP has called on the Prime Minister to make sure funding for anti-knife crime work reaches projects run by families of murdered teenagers.
Enfield North MP Nick de Bois asked David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions today to “lend his support and encouragement” to groups such as the Godwin Lawson Foundation, run by Yvonne Lawson, whose 17-year-old son was murdered in Hackney in April 2010.
Mrs Lawson, from Enfield, has struggled to secure funding for her work in schools and campaigning to use sport as a way of tacking gang rivalries. Godwin was a promising footballer at Oxford United Academy.
Last year she wrote to Mr Cameron to appeal for more funding for her foundation and to back the Enfield Independent’s Don’t Carry, Don’t Kill campaign, which called for tougher sentences for teenagers caught using a knife in an aggressive way.
Mr de Bois said: “She, like many groups on the front-line of knife crime, can make an extraordinary contribution to challenging that culture, but some authorities are not yet getting behind them by supporting and offering funding to achieve that aim.”
The Prime Minister responded by praising the work of family campaigns, but stopped short of offering more cash for the schemes.
Mr de Bois told the Enfield Independent that he would continue to press for more funding from the Government, but also wanted local authorities to give grants to community groups that work with young people to change the culture of knife crime.
In the wake of huge public spending cuts imposed by central Government, Enfield Council used a grant from the Home Office to run a national first ‘gang call-in’ at Wood Green Crown Court earlier this year, where members of Enfield’s Get Money Gang were given an opportunity to turn their back on gangs, and 15 out of 40 agreed to sign up to supervision and help.
Other initiatives include the families of known gang members being evicted from their homes and the first person in the UK to be jailed for breaching a gang injunction.
Between April 2011 and March 2012, gun crime in the borough dropped by 50 per cent, serious youth violence by 18 per cent, and knife crime by 11 per cent, compared to the previous year, figures released by the Safer and Stronger Communities Board show.