The Home Office announced a new scheme to cut down on knife crime yesterday. Boxes of chicken in many takeaways now have a hashtag #knifefree after government statistics from April 2018 to March 2019 showed an eight percent rise each year on knife crime. The Home Office said: “We are rolling out our #KnifeFree chicken boxes in over 210 chicken shops in England and Wales, including Morley’s, Dixy Chicken and Chicken Cottage.
“They use real life stories to show people how they can go #KnifeFree.”
But the initiative sparked a negative backlash on social media almost straight away.
One person said: “Anyone else look at this and think knives never came in chicken boxes?”
Another person wrote on Twitter: “Instead of investing in youth centres and activities, you are decorating chicken boxes.”
Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott was also critical about the new scheme.
She dubbed it “crude and and offensive” and shared concerns it will “demonise” communities.
She also wrote on Twitter: “Instead of investing in a public heath approach to violent crime, the Home
Office have opted for yet another crude, offensive and probably expensive campaign.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently pledged an additional 20,000 police officers to help tackle violent crime.
Mr Johnson also said he will bring back stop and search to help cut down on knife activity.
This will give police officers the chance to confront people they suspect are carrying knives.
But Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the extra police officers were not enough.
He told interviewer Iain Dale at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival: “We’ve got fewer police officers now than any time since 2003, while the population has risen by two million.
“Are the police worried about the lack of numbers? The answer is yes. Our police work so hard.
“They are under-resourced and over-stretched.
“We need more officers and so I’m using City Hall money – council tax and business rates – to recruit more, but we need central government to give us more support to reverse the cuts made.”
He also said raising council tax was a more effective method of funding more police on the streets.
He said: “In the eight years before I became mayor, Boris Johnson never raised council tax to pay for police.
“In my first three years I’ve raised council tax the maximum I’m allowed to do by law to divert it to the police.
“Our police is funded by roughly 80 percent by central government and 20 percent by other sources.
“It’s now gone down to 70 percent from central because I’ve raised other sources, but I can’t fill the massive hole left by £1billion of cuts.”