Home Secretary to meet police chiefs following brutal stabbings - just as Sunderland mourns the tragic death of teenager Connor Brown

The Home Secretary will meet with police chiefs following a number of brutal stabbings - just over a week after Sunderland's Connor Brown died following a city centre attack.

By Poppy Kennedy
Monday, 04 March, 2019, 08:12
Sajid Javid. Photo credit: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Sajid Javid will chair the Chief Constables roundtable following the high-profile deaths of a number of teenagers across the country.

Connor Brown

As two men were charged with his killing, the city has poured out its grief for a popular young man who could 'light up a room with his smile'.

Connor’s death, along with a stabbing in Hendon last Monday, has led to public concerns about safety on our streets.

Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt, area commander for Sunderland and South Tyneside, has reassured the public that the town centre is safe.

The Home Secretary's meeting on Wednesday will include police chiefs from the areas most affected by knife crime.

It comes after the fatal stabbing of 17-year-old Jodie Chesney in an east London park on Friday night.

It was the 18th homicide in the capital in 2019, a total that stood at 20 by the end of the weekend.

A 17-year-old boy who was stabbed to death in the village of Hale Barns, near Altrincham, in Greater Manchester, on Saturday night was named by police as Yousef Ghaleb Makki.

Also over the weekend, a man was charged with murder over the fatal stabbing of Che Morrison, 20, outside an east London railway station on Tuesday.

A man was arrested in connection with two stabbings in central London late on Saturday night and early on Sunday that left two people with life-threatening injuries.

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And police named a man who is fighting for his life after a "horrific attack" when he was stabbed in Enfield, north London, on Tuesday.

The incidents follow three teenagers dying in knife attacks in two weeks in Birmingham, leading to West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson branding it a "national emergency".

Hazrat Umar, 17, was killed in Bordesley Green on Monday; Abdullah Muhammad, 16, died in Small Heath the previous week, and seven days earlier Sidali Mohamed, 16, was stabbed outside a college in Highgate.

Mr Javid said: "Young people are being murdered across the country and it can't go on.

"We're taking action on many fronts and I'll be meeting police chiefs this week to hear what more can be done.

"It is vital that we unite to stop this senseless violence."

The Home Office said it set out a range of actions to tackle violent crime in October including a £200 million youth endowment fund.

It also consulted on a new legal duty to underpin a public health approach to tackling serious violence, and an independent review of drug misuse.

An extra £970 million in police funding is proposed in the funding settlement for 2019-20, the Home Office said.

It added that the Offensive Weapons Bill currently before Parliament will introduce new offences to tackle knife crime and acid attacks.

The Home Office also said the serious violence taskforce, chaired by the Home Secretary and including other ministers, MPs, police leaders and the London Mayor, meets regularly to oversee and drive delivery of the serious violence strategy.

The strategy, published last year, focuses on steering young people away from a life of crime, while continuing to promote a strong law enforcement response, it added.