London, Nov.18 : Senior Brit-Indian Labour MP Keith Vaz has said that the battle against knife crimes in the United Kingdom is "clearly not working".
Vaz, the chairman of the influential Home Affairs Select Committee, said the latest stabbing at a music awards show in London showed the "urgent" need for action.
At the launch of a cross-party knife crime inquiry, The Sun quoted Vaz as saying: "It is clearly not being dealt with at the moment. We want to take it beyond a party political discussion to go into the community to find the perpetrators - and also establish how this matter should be dealt with."
Responding to Vaz's comments, a Home Office spokesman said its two million pound investment for targeted action in 10 police force areas under the Tackling Knives Action programme was paying dividends.
"Over 2,200 knives have been seized following targeted stop and search operations and courts are getting tougher with offenders," The Guardian quoted him, as saying.
At the conference in Stockwell, south London, the Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes said there had been a shift in culture so that young people were carrying knives out of fear.
"Knives were originally taken because they were seen as cool," he said. Then they were taken because young people thought they were safe. But now what most people are doing is taking them because of fear.
"There has been a shift - we need people to realise that having them makes you much more likely to be a victim."
Hughes said parents needed to start educating their children at an early age - "five, six, seven" - rather than waiting until they were in their teens when it would be too late.
The London deputy mayor Kit Malthouse said the knife problem was "our number one priority and it haunts us pretty much every day we are at City Hall".