School Sports Answer to Gang Violence, Says MP; CRIME Return of Team Sports Could Tackle Rise in Violent Crime
Byline: JONATHAN WALKER Political Editor
School sports teams should make a comeback to help cut gang violence, according to a Birmingham MP.
Khalid Mahmood (Lab Perry Barr) called for the return of school football, rugby and cricket teams, as an inquiry warned official figures failed to show the true level of violent crime. Annual crime statistics showed the number of violent incidents recorded by police had fallen by seven per cent in the past 12months, from255,000incidents a year across the country to 237,000 incidents a year.
But incidents of the most serious violent crimes, such as homicide, attempted murder and grievous bodily harm with intent to kill, rose by almost a quarter.
And a report by the Commons Public Accounts Committee, which includes Shropshire MP Philip Dunne (Con Ludlow), highlighted warnings from hospitals that victims of violent crime treated in accident and emergency wards were failing to report crimes to the police.
The study also called for the Home Office to conduct more research into why young people join gangs. The MPs said: "Gang activity and gang violence is a factor in violent crime but the Home Office has a limited understanding of the nature of gang membership and activity. Mr Mahmood said school sports teams used to provide an alternative for young people, but there were very few of them left. …