Prime Minister David Cameron has condemned knife crime in Gloucester in the wake of three alleged murders.
Speaking to the Citizen's public affairs reporter Mike Wilkinson today during a visit to engineering firm Renishaw, at Woodchester, near Nailsworth, he said: “The crimes in Gloucester are appalling and should be condemned.
“Nationwide knife crime is falling and in Gloucestershire crime is falling overall and we have already toughened the approach on knife crime.
“We have changed the rules so that if you commit an offence with a knife you should expect to go to prison. there also a debate going on in Parliament on whether more can be done in this area.
“I am interested in what other proposals can be made but we shouldn’t underestimate the toughening up of the law already in place.”
The comments come after the deaths of Hollie Gazzard, Neil Bennett and Martin Stokes in the past year in Gloucester.
LISTEN TO DAVID CAMERON TALKING TO RENISHAW WORKERS
During his visit to Renishaw, Mr Cameron also spoke with workers at the firm, answering their questions on a range of topics including the effect of recent strike action from teachers and tube workers, the foreign aid budget, Scottish independence and the pupil premium, but by far the most asked about topic was Europe and UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage.
On Farage, Mr Cameron said: “It is very easy to go around and say ‘stop everyone coming in, put up the fortress and turn your back on the world’. We can’t live like that. We are a trading country.
“We need a grown up debate rather than a set of slogans with no answers. I know people are frustrated with their politicians and sometimes angry but we’ve got to have the politics of the answers rather than the politics of anger.”
Mr Cameron praised the work that Renishaw does in the cutting-edge world of manufacturing. He said: “While the economy is doing better, we need to manufacture more, we need to invest more and we need to export more. We need to invest in science and research and development and from what I have seen at Renishaw you are doing all those things massively for our country.”
He told workers: “It is really important that we are a manufacturing, technology and exporting nation and you are playing a really important part in that.”
The question and answers session came after a tour of the impressive facilities at Renishaw and a private chat with the firm’s bosses.
He ended the visit by saying that Renishaw workers were ‘driving a great industrial revolution and a British revival of manufacturing, technology and exports’.
Renishaw is a global company with skills in measurement, motion control, spectroscopy and precision machining. The Gloucestershire firm was founded in 1973 by Sir David McMurtry, the company’s chairman and chief executive, and John Deer, now deputy chairman.