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Sir David Amess pleaded with PM to tackle 'senseless' knife murders 7 months ago

·Political Correspondent - Yahoo News UK
·3 min read
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Sir David Amess had implored Boris Johnson to commit to reducing knife crime murders just seven months ago after one of his own constituents was killed.

The Conservative MP, who tragically died on Friday after being repeatedly stabbed at a constituents' surgery meeting, asked the PM to tackle 'senseless' knife murders in March.

Read more:

Sir David Amess: Conservative MP dies after being stabbed at constituency meeting

History of violent attacks on MPs

Sir David Amess: Long-serving MP and city status campaigner

At Prime Minister's Questions on 3rd March 2021 Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West, asked Boris Johnson to commit to tackling the growing issue of knife crime. 

“Last Friday, my constituent Mr Luke Bellfield, who was aged just 18, was stabbed to death just a few miles from his family home,” Sir David told the House of Commons.

Sir David Amess PMQs knife crime
Sir David told the story of an 18-year-old stabbed to death in his constituency (Parliament TV/YouTube)

“This has been horrendous for his family and friends who have been left behind, and my heart goes out to them all.

“What more does my Right Honourable Friend think that the police, society and Parliament can do to make sure that there never will in the future be such senseless murders again?”

Bellfield was a boxer at the Bethnal Green based boxing club, Repton, and died after a single stab wound to the heart outside a pub in Leighton-on-Sea.

Brooklyn Bisson, a family friend of Bellfields', launched a fundraising page in his memory and described him as "an angel".

Promising boxer Luke Bellfield, 18, was stabbed to death in Sir David Amess's constituency of Southend West. (Reach)
Promising boxer Luke Bellfield, 18, was stabbed to death in Sir David Amess's constituency of Southend West. (Reach)

“Spread the awareness of knife crime," he wrote. 

"Our hearts go out to Luke’s family and friends at this sad time.

“Fly high angel you’ll be forever missed and never forgotten.”

Knife crime is a growing issue in the UK, with 41,000 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument reported in the year ending March 2021 in England and Wales.

In response to Amess' question, Johnson said he sympathised with the family but defended his action on policing.

“I sympathise very much with Luke’s family and his friends and there is nothing I can say to alleviate their loss,” he said.

(Parliament TV/YouTube)
Boris Johnson defended his plans for policing during PMQs in March (Parliament TV/YouTube)

“But what we are doing, Mr Speaker, is recruiting many more police officers to fight crime, rolling up the county lines drug gangs wherever we can and setting out plans to keep serious sexual and violent offenders behind bars for longer.

“I can tell the House that we’ve now got 6,620 of our target extra 20,000 police already recruited.”

Sir David was holding a routine surgery in his constituency when he was stabbed multiple times at Belfairs Methodists Church in Leigh-on-Sea. 

He died at the scene; a 25-year-old man has been arrested. 

Watch: Peter Bottomley pays tribute to friend David Amess

Tributes have poured in from across the political spectrum, with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeting: "Horrific and deeply shocking news. 

"Thinking of David, his family and his staff."

Chancellor Rishi Sunak also expressed his condolences on Twitter. 

"The worst aspect of violence is its inhumanity. 

"It steals joy from the world and can take from us that which we love the most," he wrote. 

"Today it took a father, a husband, and a respected colleague. 

"All my thoughts and prayers are with Sir David’s loved ones."

Sir David leaves behind his wife and his five children. 

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