ANYONE who follows the local news couldn’t have failed to notice the recent rise in violent crime around parts of Portsmouth and the surrounding areas.
Sadly Hampshire is far from unique in having seen an increase in these types of crimes – the almost daily news coming from London of yet another stabbing or shooting has made for grim reading.
Nonetheless, it is a problem that has become increasingly noticeable in these parts to even the most casual observer.
Much of the violence is drug-related and tied in with the gangs whose trade is supplying these illegal narcotics.
As such it can be little surprise that Hampshire Police is monitoring around 20 such networks in this area.
It is a simple reality of geography that our proximity to London and the convenience of the A3 makes Portsmouth an attractive location for these gangs and county-lines dealers.
While some may have little sympathy for victims directly involved in the sickening drugs trade, the number of people whose lives are blighted by these incidents goes far beyond the immediate victims.
Something needs to be done to break these cycles of addiction and the associated problems – the burglaries, the used needles left in children’s play parks, and so on.
But that is obviously easier said than done, and many have tried and failed to deal with it with any degree of success in the past.
That isn’t to say we shouldn’t try to create solutions.
It is somewhat perverse that the severity of the problem here actually means we have the expertise and experience to give Portsmouth City Council’s argument weight that we are well placed to take a lead nationally.
We hope Home Office minister Nick Hurd MP agrees when he visits later this month.