Over the past week since Parliament returned from the summer break, I've continued my campaign against knife crime.
Last week I held a debate on this topic in the House of Commons which was attended by MPs of various parties. I challenged the Minister to develop a 10-year National Knife Crime Strategy.
This week, my cross-party group on knife crime was officially launched. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime has had a strong response from MPs from across the country, with over 30 MPs and Lords signed up as members.
Click 'Read more' below to learn more and watch my full speech in the House of Commons.
Inaugural meeting of the APPG on Knife CrimeRead more
During the election I promised real action on knife crime, which rose by a staggering 94% in Croydon over the last year. The tragic death of 15-year-old Jermaine Goupall in Thornton Heath earlier this month shows how urgently we need action on this issue both in Parliament and in Croydon. That's why I'm setting up a cross-party group which will launch next month, to bring forward some new ideas and push this issue higher up the agenda in Westminster.
Meeting Reaching Higher, a community group doing fantastic work with young people in CroydonRead more
Earlier this week I met two important community groups: Another Night of Sisterhood (ANOS) and The LIONS Society. Both groups were set up by members of our community who had seen too many lives ruined by knife crime and gang violence in Croydon - both young people and parents.
This meeting was the first in a programme I'm calling 'Croydon Voice'. Across August and September I'll meet community groups, police and other organisations across Croydon who are working to reduce knife crime and youth violence in our town. I also want to meet families of those affected by knife crime or gang violence, and young people who have experienced it directly. Croydon Voice is about giving a national voice and a platform to those working at the grassroots, or experiencing the tragic consequences of knife crime directly. (Cont'd)
Sarah Jones with leaders of The LIONS Society and ANOS, including Donna Murray-Turner and Raymond Robb, 31st July in South Norwood
I pressed Theresa May in Prime Minister's Questions today for more support to tackle knife crime. We can't afford to let the situation get worse - too many lives are at stake.
Last week I made my maiden speech in parliament, in a debate on Grenfell Tower. You can watch the highlights of the speech here.Read more
I took part in three important votes over the past week. All three were amendments to the Queen's Speech which would have forced the Government to alter its plans for new laws over the next two years:Read more
I have demanded a meeting with the Education Secretary to discuss schools cuts in Croydon and beyond.
Today the Queen has formally opened Parliament, meaning Parliament can get back to work. While Theresa May delayed us with ongoing negotiations with the DUP, I have been working on one of my campaign priorities: speaking to teachers, headteachers and students about the importance of education and fighting cuts to Croydon schools.
Speaking to students at Park Hill Junior School
Last Friday Steve Reed and I had an urgent meeting with Croydon Council leaders – and I went to Fieldway to look at some of the taller blocks and talk to local people. The Council wrote and hand-delivered a letter to all of the council tenants in tall blocks confirming that the type of cladding used in Grenfall Tower was not used in any Croydon blocks and that they had begun an immediate and thorough review of materials used for cladding.
I am delighted that Croydon Council yesturday went further than any other Council I have seen, announcing that twenty-five housing blocks in Croydon will get fire sprinklers as part of the council’s response to the terrible fire. This is very good news.Read more
Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower yesterday, our first thoughts are with the victims and their families. There was clearly a catastrophic failure of safety and we owe it to all those who lost their lives to find the causes and stop this happening again.
I have written to the head of Croydon's Fire Borough Commander David Lindridge and Council Chief Executive Jo Negrini. I have asked for assurances that tower blocks and other developments in Croydon have sufficient fire safety measures and that our firefighters have the resources they need.
I have also passed on my gratitude to the brave firefighters from Croydon who helped tackle the blaze in West London today. They did us proud.
It's devastating to hear about the fatal shooting in Wellesley Road last night.
I have spoken with the police and we are asking anyone who witnessed anything to come forward.
I will be getting a full briefing on this issue shortly. The rise in violent crime in Croydon is something we must tackle.