A CAMPAIGNER has implored residents to play their part in urging politicians to debate a knife crime prevention initiative.

The Leader reported in November how Edwin Duggan, from Shotton, urged members of the public to back his petition calling on the Government to create a dedicated knife crime Minister.

In December, the petition's deadline elapsed - with only 4,047 signatures garnered.

This was not enough to receive a response from the government, or for the issue to be considered for a debate in Parliament.

But Mr Duggan, who spearheaded the Jade's Law Campaign, said he is so concerned about what he describes as the "epidemic levels" of knife crime across the UK, he is now personally pressing MPs to debate the issue - and he's asking others to do the same.

He explained: "I have campaigned for the creation of a Dedicated Minister for the Prevention of Knife Crime in the UK during the past six months.

"The public reaction by way of signatures only reached 4,071. This, I feel, is due to the general 'apathy' of the public that 'nothing can be done, nothing is being done, so why bother.'

"We are at epidemic levels with regard to knife crime in our country.  

"I have therefore petitioned MPs who have shown a concern for such crimes, ie; Knife crime in the UK, and during a 'General Debate on Knife Crime in the UK', which was held on the 24 December 2023, with the following question: Would they consider debating the creation of a Dedicated Minister for the prevention of Knife Crime in the UK?"

Mr Duggan has written to the leader of the General Knife Crime debate, Wendy Morton MP, asking her and other MPs to charge the house to seek a Backbench Business General Debate on the matter.

In his letter to her, seen by the Leader, he explains: "Knife crime in the UK, I feel, is now at epidemic levels.

The Leader: Edwin DugganEdwin Duggan (Image: Edwin Duggan)"I conducted a vast amount of research and found that although there was substantial legislation already in force to curb knife crime, there seemed to be a lack of communication between government departments, police forces, charitable organisations, and the general public.  

"It was at this point that I realised that perhaps the issue should be coordinated by a single Minister within a dedicated department.  

"The current Minister who is in charge of knife crime comes under the "umbrella" of the Minister for Crime, this is not enough.

"Something needs to be done and the very first thing that I feel should be debated in the house is the creation of a Dedicated Minister for Knife Crime Prevention in the UK."

Speaking to the Leader this week, Mr Duggan said: "The question has to be asked - how many other people have to lose their lives before the government takes action?  

"The existing structure insofar as having a Crime Prevention Minister does not suffice in the prevention of knife crime in the UK overall.  

"The time for talking is long past. Action is needed.

"Let's make 2024 the year when the people of Deeside and surrounding areas actually make a difference insofar as forcing a change which will reduce death in our society.  

"I ask as an individual, write to your MP commissioning him/her to take this issue to the floor:  Create a Dedicated Minister for Knife Crime prevention in the UK."