AddThis SmartLayers

Editor highlights city’s knife-crime epidemic in TV panel discussion

A regional daily editor highlighted the growing teenage knife crime epidemic on his patch as he was interviewed as part of the BBC’s Tory Conference coverage.

With the conference taking place in Birmingham this week, Birmingham Mail editor Marc Reeves was invited onto Newsnight’s panel reviewing the day’s papers.

But Marc took the opportunity to draw attention to the big local issue on the paper’s patch, telling the programme that “life in Birmingham goes on.”

He was speaking ahead of the publication of today’s edition of the paper which featured the headline ‘How many more children have to die, Mrs May?’

Marc Reeves reviews the papers on Newsnight with Daily Telegraph political writer Rachel Sylvester.

Marc Reeves reviews the papers on Newsnight with Times political writer Rachel Sylvester.

Said Marc: “It’s important to remember that life in Birmingham goes on despite the aguments over Brexit and leadership challenges.

“300 yards from where we are sitting, the story of knife crime is being played out on the streets of Birmingham.

“In the year up to the end of March there were 20 murders due to knife crime in Birmingham, that’s 100pc up on the previous year.

“At the same time over nine years police numbers have dropped by 25pc.

“Campaigners we work are telling us they are sick of this.  They would rather see politicians get on and tackle what are real issues to them.

“Whatever the debate around Brexit, people are dying on the streets of Birmingham.  They want to see that on the agenda for a change.”

Today’s paper featured an interview with campaigner Alison Cope, mother of teenage murder victim Joshua Ribera.

She said: “The Government, Theresa May, the police, they all need to wake up.

“More young people are being killed by knives than have ever been blown up by terrorism in this country, have ever been poisoned by Russians or whoever.

“Yet for some reason Theresa May is prioritising other countries over her own communities.”