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Page last updated at 16:21 GMT, Thursday, 11 December 2008
Prime Minister tackles knife crime

Gordon Brown with former EastEnders actress Brooke Kinsella
Gordon Brown with former EastEnders actress Brooke Kinsella

Gordon Brown's admitted more has to be done to cut knife crime.

The Prime Minister has spoken to Newsbeat after the government said the latest police crackdown was working.

The government says stabbings are down and fewer teenagers are carrying blades in the 10 parts of England and Wales where there's been a big effort to tackle the problem.

The figures also show under-18s going to hospital for stabs and cuts are down by a quarter and more serious attacks have dropped by a fifth.

It comes on the day a new group was launched, made up of high profile celebrities and sport stars, to act as role models and persuade people to put down their knives.

Chelsea and England stars Ashley Cole and John Terry were there, alongside Olympian Denise Lewis and EastEnders actress Brooke Kinsella, whose brother Ben was stabbed and killed in London this June.

The 10 knife crime hotspots are London, Essex, Lancashire, West Yorkshire, Merseyside, the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Nottinghamshire, South Wales and Thames Valley.

Politics reporter Dave Howard has been asking the Prime Minister your questions about the government's new strategy to tackle the issue.

Newsbeat: The statistics on knife crime say one thing. We're hearing other things from our listeners.

Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown says fewer teenagers are carrying blades
Gordon Brown: That's why we want to get knives off the street. I'm not complacent at all. A lot of young people are stopping carrying knives but we've got a long way to go.

And that's why today you've got all these people from all different walks of life; sports people, from the world of entertainment, from radio, from television, all saying, working with the community groups, no to knives.

We shouldn't have knives on our streets. It doesn't make you safer when you carry a knife. It's something that will actually cause more damage and more danger later on.

So, yes we've got a long way to go and the long way to go is encouraging people, as well as the police action, the prosecutions, the education in the schools, just encouraging people to say to each other, 'No to knives', and 'Get knives off the streets'.

Newsbeat: The stats that you've published today seem to show that knife crime is down. A nurse at Bristol Royal Infirmary says stab wound admissions are going up.

Gordon Brown: What I want to know is how we can actually get knife crime down and how we can make sure it stays down.

Making sure it stays down is more policing that's visible on the streets, a presumption to prosecute if you're seen to be carrying a knife, tougher police and prison sentences when that happens, shops banned from selling knives to young people and schools and community groups doing an educational process whereby young people are discouraged from carrying knives.

But the whole community, and this is what this is about today, everybody coming together to say with one voice, 'We're not going to have knives on our streets. We're going to tell young people it's not acceptable. We're going to tell young people it's not macho, it's not cool, it's not something that you should be doing. It's not something that makes you safer'.

And I think that message will gradually get across to people. So, we are taking more action from today to make sure that that message gets to young people and we toughen up all the measures we're taking.

SEE ALSO
Plan aims to get teens off street
Monday, 8 December 2008, 09:49 GMT |  The P Word
England fans want more protection
Wednesday, 10 December 2008, 09:19 GMT |  The P Word
City gets 'crime-detecting' CCTV
Wednesday, 10 December 2008, 12:20 GMT |  Technology
Oasis star wants action on knives
Friday, 4 July 2008, 13:25 GMT |  The P Word
'One knife wound is enough to kill'
Thursday, 5 June 2008, 16:20 GMT |  The P Word
Under 18s face knife prosecution
Thursday, 29 May 2008, 10:02 GMT |  The P Word

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