'Put more police back on the streets' - voters in Hexham say more needs to be done to tackle knife crime

'Put more police back on the streets' - voters in Hexham say more needs to be done to tackle knife crime

Voters in Hexham believe the next government needs to do more to tackle the knife crime epidemic in the country, including education in schools and having more police on the streets. We are speaking to voters all over the North East in the run-up to July 4.

Martyn Halsall said: “They need to get to the source of the problem which is the supply of knives. Cut them off from retailer outlets and the internet. There needs to be a banning of these dangerous weapons because they are being used to commit terrible crimes in many places.”

Jennifer Harris added: “Put more police back on the streets. Where we live there is no police station, no leisure centre. We have got nothing for young people.”

Tom Russell argued there needs to be more opportunities for young people so they have got purpose in life and not on the streets looking for trouble. Leon Sherwood said more education in schools on the danger of knives and carrying one was needed.

The economy, tax on pensions, the NHS, benefits, cost-of-living, potentially spiralling into World War Three and the integrity of politicians were also important to residents in Hexham.

Mr Halsall added: “The problems that our younger people are facing over access to housing and basic services generally across the country, which are in such shambles because of Tory mismanagement.

Residents also gave their opinions on the two men fighting to become Prime Minister, but responses were muted for both. Andy Bagshaw said: “I’m not overly enamoured with the Conservatives, but less enamoured with Labour, so we are in a difficult position.”

On Sir Keir Starmer, he added: “I don’t trust the man, he makes too many u-turns, too many changes on policy, he jumps on bandwagons and slogans. He’s all talk, no action.” Other views of the Labour leader varied from “potential, understanding, trusted and hopeful” to people not trusting him.

Leon Sherwood and Joanna Close agreed that Mr Starmer has yet to prove himself, whilst Chris Perkins said: “He is more of a Tory than a Labour candidate. The Conservative have bodged it over the last few years, it is time for a change but I don’t think Starmer is the right person to take it forward.”

Opinions on Rishi Sunak also were not too positive, with descriptions such as “incompetent, out of his depth, out of touch with the general public, failure to stop the boats and disappointing” used to describe him. However, Mr Bagshaw praised the Conservative leader for his outlook for the country, but was critical of his robustness.

He said: “I think he is positive about the future, he is genuine in wanting to do things for the future, but he has not got the strength or power to make those things happen.”