Kuldip Sahota, Labour’s Police and Crime Commissioner Candidate for the May 6th elections, visited Redditch on Saturday and dropped in to Redditch Self-Defence group to meet founder Peter Martin.
Peter Martin has worked tirelessly over many years to bring knife crime awareness and prevention to Redditch, giving talks in schools, youth groups and mentoring young people in the dangers of knife crime and working to cut incidences of stabbings and deaths in Redditch.
During the visit, Kuldip heard about the work that Peter does and toured the small gymnasium based in Windsor Road and spoke to some of the young people working on their fitness and self-defence skills.
On hearing that funding for the group is mainly based on businesses and personal donations, Kuldip said “one of my main priorities for West Mercia Police force is to provide funding to raise awareness of the dangers of knife crime and the effect that it has on families of loved ones of those who have been sucked in by drug related crime gangs often leading to serious injury and unfortunately death. I will appoint a drug and knife related Tsar to work with groups like Peter’s to educate young people on the dangers that face them by getting drawn in to gang violence.
“Peter has told me that just £1000 could allow him to run his group for three months and I intend, if elected on May 6th, to make sure that adequate West Mercia Police funding will allow initiatives like the Redditch Self-defence group to expand across the region.
Peter Martin said “it was good to meet Kuldip and to discuss with him his plans for knife-crime prevention. I was impressed by his commitment to groups such as ours who volunteer to make our town safer”.
Speaking after the visit Bill Hartnett, Leader of the Labour Group on Redditch Borough Council said “It was great to welcome Kuldip to Redditch and hear first hand from Peter about the work he does and Kuldip’s commitment to funding prevention of knife and drug related crime”
Robin Lunn, Leader of Worcestershire County Council Labour Group said: “I really welcome Kuldip’s pledge to invest in crime prevention where small amounts of money make such a difference, rather than spending more than £50,000 per annum on a deputy as the current Police Commissioner does”.