The Ministry of Interior yesterday announced a new program to combat knife crime. Boxes of chicken in many takeaways are now tagged with the #knifefree hashtag, after government statistics showed an annual increase of eight percent in knife-related crime from April 2018 to March 2019. The Home Office stated, "We are launching our # KnifeFree Chicken Boxes at over 210 chicken shops in England and Wales, including Morleys, Dixy Chicken and Chicken Cottage.
"They use real stories to show people how to do #KnifeFree."
But the initiative almost immediately triggered a negative reaction to the social media.
One person said, "Did anyone else look at this and believe that knives were never delivered in chicken boxes?"
Another person wrote on Twitter: "Instead of investing in youth centers and activities, decorate chicken boxes."
Shadow Secretary of the Interior Diane Abbott also commented critically on the new system.
She called it "rude and offensive" and shared the concern that it would "demonize" communities.
She also wrote on Twitter: "Instead of investing in a public approach to violent crime, this is the home
Office has decided on yet another crude, offensive and probably expensive campaign.
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently pledged an additional 20,000 police officers to help fight violent crime.
Mr. Johnson also said that he will bring back hold and search to help lessen knife activity.
This gives police officers the opportunity to confront people they suspect are carrying knives.
But the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said the extra cops are not enough.
He told interviewer Iain Dale at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival: "We now have fewer police officers than ever before since 2003, while the population has risen by two million.
"Is the police worried about the lack of numbers? The answer is yes. Our police work so hard.
"They have too few resources and are overwhelmed.
"We need more civil servants and that's why I use the town hall money – council tax and corporate rates – to hire more, but the central government needs to give us more support to reverse the cuts we've made."
He also said increasing council taxes was a more effective way to finance more police on the streets.
He said, "In the eight years before I became mayor, Boris Johnson never raised the council tax to pay the police.
"For the first three years, I've raised the council tax as far as I'm legally allowed to pass it on to the police.
"About 80 percent of our police are funded by the central government and 20 percent by other sources.
"It has now dropped from central to 70 percent because I've sourced other sources, but I can not fill that huge hole that's left with 1 billion pounds in cuts."