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All Bexley MPs back police bid for school weapon arches

PUBLISHED: 21:55 21 October 2011

Teresa Pearce agrees with the proposals but is worried that police cuts will bring a halt to preventative measures

Teresa Pearce agrees with the proposals but is worried that police cuts will bring a halt to preventative measures

»MPs are backing police plans to take temporary weapon arches into schools unannounced.

The plans, which are under discussion with Bexley police and headteachers, have been given the nod by Cllr Peter Craske, cabinet member for public realm and community safety.

Now Bexleyheath and Crayford MP David Evennett is backing the plans with Erith and Thamesmead MP Teresa Pearce.

Ms Pearce said: “This problem cannot be solved overnight and needs long-term planning with Sure Start and early intervention projects being at the forefront of such plans.

“So I agree with Bexley’s proposals, but they will only work as part of a wider package and if it costs money but saves even one life, then it’s worth every penny.”

The plans would also include using the mobile weapon arches in the Broadway, Bexleyheath.

The police proposals were in response to a high fear of crime by young people in the borough following the murder of Yemurai Kanyangarara, 16, who was stabbed in Welling on July 1.

Mr Evennett said: “I am sure that most young people are sensible enough not to carry any weapons.

‘Reassure the public’

“However, it is important that all possible measures are considered when looking at ways to combat knife crime, ensure safety and reassure the public.”

James Brokenshire, Old Bexley and Sidcup MP and crime prevention minister, said: “If a headteacher wants to deploy knife arches in their school, they should be supported.

“The important thing is that there is good co-ordination between the police and headteachers.

“But we also need to send out a clear message that carrying a knife isn’t cool and rather than offering personal protection puts you and those around you at much greater risk.”

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