By Connor Briggs
Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves has written to the Government calling for extra police officers and PCSOs following recent knife attacks in Armley.
The letter – also signed by councillors Alice Smart and James McKenna – demands increased police officers in Armley following the death of 18-year-old Jamie Meah last Friday.
During the attack, another 16-year-old male was also stabbed and suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The incident occurred just two weeks after 17-year-old Jordan Gangata died in a knife attack while attending a house party in Armley. Four people have been charged with murder.
Today’s open letter to Home Secretary Suella Braverman reads: “We are writing to you to raise our serious concerns about a recent spike in knife crime in the Armley area of the Leeds West constituency.
“In March alone, two young people tragically lost their lives having been stabbed, whilst a sixteen-year-old remains in hospital with serious injuries. As we are sure you can imagine, this has been the cause of understandable anxiety for the local community.
“For too long, anti-social behaviour and low-level crime has continued to blight the lives of many residents in Armley. We are clear in our view that this is a direct consequence of cuts to neighbourhood policing under the Conservative government.
“Residents in Armley want assurances that West Yorkshire Police are equipped to tackle knife crime and other instances of violent crime.”
The plea demands the Home Secretary recruit 13,000 additional neighbourhood police offers and to “ensure that communities such as Armley see the benefit of this recruitment as soon as possible.”
Towards the end of the letter, the strength of the Armley community is recognised: “We would like to take this opportunity to pay testament to the hard work and dedication shown by officers from West Yorkshire Police, and to recognise the strength of the community in Armley which has seen the area come together to urge young people to put down the knives.”
Deputy leader of the Green Party, Zack Polanski, yesterday called for “real investment” in youth services to tackle knife crime during a visit to Armley yesterday (Monday, 3 April).
WLD reported today how floral displays have been left Armley in tribute to the murdered teenager, Jamie Meah.