London, July 2 : The wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Cherie Blair, has said that she feared for her children when they went out in the street, and warned that knife and gun crime among teenagers could be more common than official figures suggested.
Cherie claimed that evidence showed crime statistics did not reflect the true extent to which under-16s were carrying weapons, Scotsman.com reported.
Her comments, before the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, are based on her participation in a recent investigation into young people using knives and guns, and follow a string of high-profile teenage deaths at the hands of fellow youngsters.
Cherie attacked government statistics, which she said "did not acknowledge what is happening to young people," and called for a new approach to tackle the "lethal fashion accessories."
"As a parent, I am concerned about what's happening when my children are on the street and I know I am not unique in that by any means. If young people think they can carry knives and no one is ever going to pick them up carrying a knife, then they are more likely to take one out," she said.
"Whereas, if they think when they carry a knife that's going to be detected, that may well make a really big difference," Cherie added.
She said research carried out for Channel 4's street weapons commission, which will report later this year in a documentary, highlighted the failure of current crime figures in reflecting the reality of what is happening on the streets on Britain's cities.
Cherie is the latest senior female Labour figure to display concern about safety on the streets.
Two months ago, Harriet Harman, the party's deputy leader, attracted criticism when she wore a stab-proof vest while accompanying police officers on a tour of her south London constituency.
Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, said earlier this year that she would not feel comfortable walking alone after dark in deprived areas of the capital.