Open letter addressed to Festus Akinbusoye (Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire) and Rachel Hopkins (Labour MP for Luton South)
“In light of the recent devastating news regarding knife crime in Luton, Luton BID remains even more determined to collaborate with all stakeholders to tackle this pressing issue and ensure the safety of our community. The surge in knife-related incidents in our town has sent shockwaves through our community, leaving families and neighborhoods deeply affected.
In response to this concerning trend, Luton BID has redoubled its efforts to support the Evening Economy and enhance safety measures. We’ve implemented metal detecting wands to deter the presence of weapons, provided high-visibility clothing to boost the visibility of our safety personnel, and introduced drink spike covers to protect against potential harm. Our dedicated Night Time patrols, particularly on Fridays and Saturdays during the winter months, aim to maintain a vigilant watch over public safety.
Additionally, we are actively engaging in ongoing discussions with local law enforcement to introduce bleed kits and a defibrillator, recognizing the critical importance of immediate medical assistance in emergency situations like knife-related incidents.
Despite these proactive measures, the recent rise in knife crime underscores the need for a comprehensive and coordinated approach. We hold a deep commitment to Luton’s safety, and our support for the Purple Flag accreditation for the town centre within the BID area remains unwavering. This accreditation reflects our dedication to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all.
In addition to our ongoing efforts, Luton BID sustains a NET office for daytime coverage in the town, ensuring a consistent presence throughout the day. Our BID Ambassador serves as the coordinator for LBAC (Luton Business Against Crime) and plays an integral role in addressing security concerns. Our BID Manager not only chairs the LBAC but also provides support to the Luton Safe initiative.
Given the gravity of the recent knife crime incidents, it is paramount that we work together to demonstrate our collective commitment to addressing safety concerns in Luton. We seek a clear understanding of the policing levels and police presence in Luton town centre, as well as any additional provisions being considered to combat this rising issue.
You are warmly invited to attend an upcoming BID Board meeting to address the concerns of our Directors, and we encourage open dialogue and collaboration as we navigate these challenges together. Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, 29th November at 10 am, and it will be held virtually via Zoom.
Together, we can work towards a safer, more secure Luton for everyone.
Luton BID Chair”