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Jodie Chesney: Romford MP says those who carry knives should be “locked up for a very long time”

Andrew Rosindell has called for tougher sentences for people caught carrying knives in public.

The Member of Parliament for Romford was speaking just days after 17-year-old Jodie Chesney was stabbed to death in a park in Harold Hill.

The teenager had been hanging out with a group of friends, and Mr Rosindell told Time 107.5 all the evidence pointed to her being targeted in an unprovoked way.

“You can have as many police as you like – and I want more police – but you have to crush this gang culture,” Mr Rosindell said. “Whether it’s drug related, or other types of criminality, there is a culture among our young people.

“What happened at the weekend to Jodie in that park in Harold Hill was a horrible, despicable act against an innocent person.”

When asked if he supported mandatory minimum sentences for people caught carrying knives, Mr Rosindell said: “They should be locked up for a very long time if they use a knife.

“We have to have stop and search and if they are caught, they should expect a very tough sentence.”

No arrests have been made in connection with Jodie’s murder but anyone with information should call investigators on 020 8345 3775, Tweet @MetCC or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner for the Met Police, Graham McNulty, said: “We have had a tragic 10 days in London where we have seen a number of high profile, violent incidents and our thoughts are very much with the families and friends and indeed the wider communities affected by these tragic events. One incident, one injury, one death is one too many.

“Tackling violent crime remains the Met’s top priority and we have been working day and night to make progress. In advance of the weekend just passed, we had arranged for more officers from our Violent Crime Taskforce to be on duty and we have extended their shifts to raise our visibility across London. These officers are operating across London in both uniform and plain clothes.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has said there is “no direct correlation” between police cuts and knife crime.

The number of officers in England and Wales dropped by more than 20,000 officers between 2009 and 2016. Theresa May was the home secretary between 2010 and 2016. 

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