BUSINESSES IN Luton have pledged to play their part in tackling the rise in knife crime in the town.
Town centre businesses have written to Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Festus Akinbusoye and Luton South MP Rachel Hopkins outlining the measures they have already put in place to protect the night time economy and calling for a co-ordinated approach to the issue.
Mr Akinbusoye and Ms Hopkins have also been invited to the next board meeting of Luton BID to discuss the issue and measures to bring it under control.
In the letter, Luton BID chair Gavin O’Brien pictured right said: “Luton BID remains even more determined to collaborate with all stakeholders to tackle this pressing issue and ensure the safety of our community. The surge in knife-related incidents in our town has sent shockwaves through our community, leaving families and neighbourhoods deeply affected.”
The BID has introduced metal detecting wands for its night-time patrols to deter the presence of weapons, provided high-visibility clothing to boost the visibility of its safety personnel and introduced drink spike covers to protect against potential harm.
It is also in talks with the police to introduce bleed kits and a defibrillator in the town centre, “recognising the critical importance of immediate medical assistance in emergency situations like knife-related incidents,” Mr O’Brien said.
He added: “Despite these proactive measures, the recent rise in knife crime underscores the need for a comprehensive and coordinated approach. We hold a deep commitment to Luton’s safety, and our support for the Purple Flag accreditation for the town centre within the BID area remains unwavering. This accreditation reflects our dedication to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all.”
The BID has also added daytime security cover and its BID manager Jackie Flower chairs the Luton Business Against Crime group.
In the letter, Mr O’Brien said: “Given the gravity of the recent knife crime incidents, it is paramount that we work together to demonstrate our collective commitment to addressing safety concerns in Luton. We seek a clear understanding of the policing levels and police presence in Luton town centre, as well as any additional provisions being considered to combat this rising issue.”
“Together, we can work towards a safer, more secure Luton for everyone.”