“We need to help human beings caught up in horrendous circumstances, which they had no role in creating and have no power to change,” the Secretary-General noted in an opinion piece published today in Belgian French-language newspaper, Le Soir, and other media outlets in Europe. In the opinion piece, the Secretary-General looked back to his recent visit to the Greek island of Lesbos, which is where many refugees and migrants first arrive when entering Europe and where he saw and heard first-hand their plight at the island’s Kara Tepe and Moria locations. “The waters were calm the day I visited. But not so long ago, the horizon was filled with flimsy, overcrowded boats making their way across cold and choppy waters. People arrived by the thousands, some still with shrapnel wounds from the fighting they had fled just days earlier,” he wrote.“I spoke with Syrians, Iraqis, Pakistanis and others. I sensed immense gratitude for their temporary haven,” he added. “But I also saw simmering frustration at their uncertain futures, causing tensions within and beyond the facilities. As one person said, ‘it is the waiting that is killing everyone inside.’”Mr. Ban highlighted that the people of Greece and Lesbos had responded “admirably” to the influx of so many people in need, adding that, “If tiny Lesbos can do so much, surely others can do more.”In that vein, the UN chief urged world leaders to uphold their political, moral and legal obligations by taking the following five steps: relocate more people, protect people, provide more resettlement as well as humanitarian and complementary pathways for admission, fight xenophobia and hatred, and address the root causes of forced displacement. “The situation is complex, yet simple, in its fundamentals: we need to help human beings caught up in horrendous circumstances, which they had no role in creating and have no power to change,” he wrote. “Large movements of people have occurred before and we have coped. With the world now richer than ever and more knowledgeable than ever, we should be able to cope better than ever, and do right for today’s and future generations.”The Secretary-General also urged all world leaders to attend the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants taking place at UN Headquarters in New York in September, and for which the goal is a new global compact on responsibility-sharing for refugees and another one for safe, orderly and regular migration.
He said: “The Prime Minister and her Government have been consistent in their attempts to reduce Stop and Search to fit a political agenda. Stop and Search is at an all-time low and knife crime is at an all-time high. This cause and effect is not difficult to understand, is it…..?” Backing a crackdown, Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner, warned that the rate of exclusions and off rolling was fuelling gang violence. She said she planned to collect data from every local authority to identify schools where it was “happening the most often.”She told the Daily Telegraph: “Sometimes there is a temptation for some schools to exclude awkward or disruptive pupils from a school to game exam league tables. That temptation can be removed by insisting figures for excluded pupils are included in performance data and by fining schools who are deliberately off-rolling.“Whilst I accept that as a last resort there will be occasions where there is no other choice than to exclude a child, it cannot be right that so many children whose lives are starting to take a wrong path, and who could be diverted from that path, are being chucked out of school just because they are seen as too difficult to cope with or teach.” Yosef Makki is the latest teenager to die in Britain’s knife crime epidemic Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Cooke said: “The feeling among officers in Birmingham is that the current operation is paying great dividends across the city.He went on: “Arrests are up and with them numerous dangerous weapons have been removed from the streets. The message appears clearly understood. “The number of exclusions we are seeing all seem absolutely to be heading in the wrong direction,” said the home secretary, adding that there were “no shortcuts, no single solution” and that “co-ordinated action on multiple fronts” was needed to combat the knife crime wave.With excluded children aged 10 to 15 seven times more likely to carry knives, the review by former children’s minister Edward Timpson is expected to propose schools should remain “accountable for the educational outcomes” of pupils they exclude, according to drafts of his report.This would mean their performance would count towards a school’s league table position and “remove the potential” for head teachers to game the system by “permanently excluding children at the most crucial time in their education.” Police in the Perry Barr area of the city tweeted that they had arrested one 14 and another 15-year-old in possession of knives in the past few days.Latest Home Office figures show that in the year ending March 2018, there were 279,598 stops and searches conducted by police officers in England and Wales. This was a fall of 8% compared with the previous year and continuing the downward trend since the peak in the year ending March 2011 when there 1,229,324 stop and searches. Mr Cooke’s comments were echoed by Stu Berry, the chairman of the Manchester Police Federation, where detectives continue to investigate the knife murder of 17-year-old A Level student and aspiring doctor, Yousef Makki. Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, has said there are no easy solutions to the knife crime epidemicCredit:PA Jody Chesney was murdered in east London on March 1 Emergency stop and search powers for the police need to be introduced across the country in order to stem the knife crime epidemic, a senior police leader has warned.Section 60 powers, which allow frontline officers to search suspects without grounds, have already seen scores of deadly weapons taken off the streets of Birmingham since being introduced last week.West Midlands Police gave the green light for the controversial measure following the knife murders of three teenagers in just 11 days.Now following another deadly weekend, which saw two 17-year-olds stabbed to death in Manchester and Birmingham, police leaders are calling for the measures to be rolled out nationally.Richard Cooke, the chairman of the West Midlands Police Federation, said officers had been absent from the streets for too long and this had encouraged a “sense of licence” among people to carry knives.He said the tangible success of the use of Section 60 over the past week was proof of how effective a tactic it was in saving people’s lives. There were also calls for schools to take more responsibility to pupils who were excluded.A government review has recommended that schools should be forced to include excluded pupils in their league table results, amid warnings that a culture of “off rolling” problem children is fuelling a knife crime epidemic. “For too long police have been absent from the streets in any numbers, and this has encouraged a sense of licence amongst those carrying knives, whatever their initial motivation to do so.”The Section 60 power itself was once utilised far more regularly and widely at local level in Birmingham to combat the threat of violence dynamically. Its use over last week has reminded us just how effective this tactic can be.” The Police Federation responded by accusing the Prime Minister of being “delusional” in denying there was a link between police numbers and knife crime. David Jamieson, the police and crime commissioner for the West Midlands which has seen 10 murders already this year, said schools that offrolled pupils should also face fines of £25,000 to £40,000 to pay for the education of the children they discarded. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The review, due to be published within weeks, is also proposing the Government should tackle the “cliff edge” of the January census before children sit their GCSEs where schools can “divest themselves of responsibility so long as children move on before this point.”The number of pupils permanently excluded has risen by 75% to almost 8,000 in five years, while Ofsted found 19,000 pupils were removed from school rolls before taking their GCSEs in 2017. The use of stop and search has proved controversial Scores of weapons have been taken off the streets in stop and search operationsCredit:Julian Simmonds In #perrybarrcustody today:15 y/o male possession 3″ kitchen knife14 y/o male also with a knife21 y/o driving with baseball bat & tyre iron in car with no lawful excuse22 y/o with a hammer in passenger footwell with no lawful excuse56 y/o with a flick knife#knifecrime— CID West Midlands (@DetectivesWMP) March 1, 2019 “The offrolling of 19,000 children is nothing short of a national disgrace. They are just going onto the streets where they become victims of the gangs,” he said.Robert Halfon, chair of the education select committee, said making schools partially accountable for the outcomes of excluded and off rolled children was a “number one priority in terms of dealing with knife crime.” “This is an epidemic now,” he said.The Department for Education said a legal mechanism to hold schools accountable for excluded pupils was “not off the table.”The Prime Minister vowed to tackle the causes of knife crime by addressing the issues which led “so many young people” to carry blades. However, she maintained there was “no direct correlation between certain crimes and police numbers”.”What matters is how we ensure that police are responding to these criminal acts when they take place, that people are brought to justice,” she said.”But what also matters is, as a Government, that we look at the issues which underpin, that underlie, this use of knives and that we act on those.That’s a cross-Government approach, it’s not just about the police, it’s about the whole of Government and it’s the whole of Government that’s responding.” Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty said officers had conducted more than 2,500 searches in the last three days alone, seizing thousands of weapons.But politicians remained at odds over the best way to tackle the crisis, which has seen eight teenagers stabbed to death across Britain since the start of 2019.Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary told MPs there was “no single solution” and “no shortcut” to tackling the problem.Former Met Commissioner, Lord Hogan-Howe called for a knife tsar to be appointed to get a grip on youth violence. Brooke Kinsella, the actress whose brother Ben was stabbed to death in London in 2008 and now campaigns against knife violence, also called for an uplift of police stop and search powers.She said: “Properly resourced policing and appropriate sentences for offenders have a role to play. Stop and search, for example, is a useful tactic for containing or diverting knife crime.”As a response to the murder of 17-year-old Jody Chesney in east London on Friday, the Metropolitan Police has dramatically increased the number of stop and searches taking place. read more