I led a parliamentary debate on knife crime in the West Midlands following the region becoming the worst place in England and Wales for the offence.
I gave a grim roll call of statistics and lives lost to the weapons in the region over the last decade in Westminster Hall.
I spoke of several high-profile deaths with knives including Ryan Passey, who was stabbed to death in a Stourbridge nightclub in 2017. His family are still seeking justice for the crime.
I also mentioned Cody Fisher, who was stabbed and killed in a Birmingham nightclub on Boxing Day last year.
We can only imagine what it must feel like to have watched your child go out for a night only to be told hours later that they were never coming home.
The escalating horror of knife crime is all too real, and West Midlands Police recorded the highest rate of knife crime in England and Wales over the past year - 152 offences involving a knife crime per 100,000 of the population in 2021-22.
The possession of weapons, including knives, has increased since 2012 by 496% to 7,257 incidents a year.
Not only has there been an increase in the possession of weapons, but there is the corresponding issue of the significant increase in violence against the person, including knife crime, which is up by 439%.
It is astonishing and unacceptable that total crime has risen by 113% in the west midlands over the past decade; it suggests that there has been a significant failure locally in the approach to prevent or deter crime in the West Midlands.
The increase had been under the watch of two Labour Police and Crime Commissioners and I noted that no Labour MPs attended the debate.
However, I believe this is bigger than politics. Whoever is in post, we need to fix this and get a grip. Do not blame austerity, do not throw the political book at it…throw heart and commitment at stopping young adults carrying knives.
This is skyrocketing crime and we need to stop it. Knife crime destroys lives and families, and it is blighting our communities. We need to take knives off our streets.
Only yesterday, the chair of the West Midlands Police Federation called for a ban on the sale of machetes, as part of an all-out assault on knife crime.
The Government had already acted by making the West Midlands one of four pilot areas for serious violence reduction orders that involve increased stop and search powers.
I also welcome the news that the force is set to launch a serious youth violence strategy, which aims to reduce youth crime by focusing on early intervention.
My constituents have been brilliant by setting up two e-petitions asking for changes to the level of sentencing for knife crime. A knife bin has been installed in Stourbridge after the successful campaign by the Passey family.
In reply the policing minister Chris Philp said: “I pay tribute to my honourable friend the Member for Stourbridge for securing this debate and giving such a powerful testimony about the terrible tragedies that she described.
“It is our duty in public life to do everything that we can to try to protect families from similar tragedies occurring in the future.
“We have given police and crime commissioners resources. Next year, they will have, between them, over £500 million extra, and there will be more money for the West Midlands as well.”