May and Javid seemingly at odds over knife crime and police cuts

Middle class drug users blamed for violent deaths and stabbings

Theresa May's only public contribution to the debate over knife crime after two especially senseless murders at the weekend was a single television clip in which she insisted that there was "no direct correlation" between the rise in the violent use of knives and the fall in police numbers. According to the broadcaster, the police chiefs have to set out the amount of money they need until Friday.

Home Office statistics show the number of police officers fell from their peak of 144,353 in 2009 to 122,404 in March 2018.

'People are dying on the streets, young people are dying on the streets and we need to tackle it'.

The Home Secretary Sajid Javid held a summit with chief constables from around the country today as the government attempts to get a grip on the spiralling numbers of stabbings rocking Britain's towns and cities.

She told BBC Breakfast the problem of knife crime was "far more complex and multi-layered than upping the numbers in police officers" and called for greater "community engagement".

Mr Chesney said Jodie was the daughter of his youngest brother Pete, adding: "We value your support and prayers at this time especially for our brother Pete, his wife Jo and Jodie's sister Lucy".

Asked if he thought the British military could help play a part in tackling knife crime and if a return to national service could help, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said the armed forces and Ministry of Defence "always stands ready to help any government department".

The issue was top of the news agenda again after 17-year-old Jodie Chesney was killed in an east London park as she sat with friends, and Yousef Ghaleb Makki, also 17, died near Manchester - the ninth and 10th teenagers to be knifed to death this year.

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

Speaking in the wake of a slew of fatal knife attacks on teenagers in the capital and elsewhere, Ms Dick said: "If you went back in history, you would see examples of when police officer numbers have gone down and crime has not necessarily risen at the same rate and in the same way".

Britain's most senior police officer believes middle class recreational drug users have "blood on their hands" over the recent spate of violent deaths.

A 17-year-old boy - who can not be named for legal reasons - has been charged with the murder of Yousef, Greater Manchester Police said.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Monday that Mrs May "must start listening" to police chiefs over the impact of cutting 21,000 officers, adding: "You can not keep people safe on the cheap".

Theresa May, though, has denied a link between violence and police cuts.

"South Yorkshire has seen its fair share of tragedy over the last 12 months and in response to that we have worked hard with partners and communities to develop a robust plan based on public health principals and a plan which is evidence based and appearing to have an impact".

Evidence suggests the way to stop young people being stabbed does not lie exclusively with the criminal justice system.

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