It is two years since my friend Jo Cox was brutally murdered by a right wing fanatic as she attended an advice surgery in her constituency, writes Neil Coyle MP…
Jo’s death had a profound effect on many people.
Last weekend we celebrated ‘Great Get Together’ events across Southwark (pictured). These events honour Jo and continue her work tackling loneliness and exclusion in our society. Thank you so much to everyone who organised, attended and celebrated Jo’s words that ‘We have more in common than that which divides us’ – especially to the BOST team who facilitated an even bigger Get Together than last year, bringing thousands out to Flat Iron Square and Union Street.
I choose to remember the person Jo was and the warmth, energy and love she brought to everyone she met and in all her work. Jo’s enthusiasm and infectious laughter always cheered everyone up at Westminster.
Her family have been so amazingly strong in the past two years. It was great to see her sister Kim at the Marlborough Sports Garden in Southwark last week where £20 million was announced for the Jo Cox Foundation to provide more projects to tackle loneliness and expand Jo’s legacy further.
I have recently had community events in Rotherhithe, Bermondsey and Walworth focused on tackling crime and antisocial behaviour.
Last week I was at the bedside of Joshua Boadu trying to help his family through their toughest time ever. The rise in violent crime is a huge concern for all, but acute for this family who now want justice for their son after his murder.
I am working closely with the Borough Commander, Met Commissioner, Mayor of London and Southwark council to try and secure more resources, patrols and CCTV for our community. Additional Violent Crime Taskforce officers have been provided.
Sadly, Southwark has lost 292 police officers and 120 PCSOs under the Coalition and current Government and the Met has its lowest number of officers across London for over fifteen years.
The police simply do not have the resources to prevent and investigate all crime and we are seeing that reflected in the audacity of some attacks, as well as the massive fall in cases taken to court.
This is simply unacceptable. It is essential the Government wakes up to the damage it has done and reverses cuts to ensure Southwark is the safe, strong community we all love.
I am sure many of you are watching the World Cup and cheering England on!
It has been wonderful to see all the coverage of the Kirby Estate decked in flags in its massive demonstration of support and community spirit – long may it continue!